June 2017
Volume 58, Issue 8
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2017
Multi-state Assessment of Vision Impairment and Associated Morbidity
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Dean A VanNasdale
    Optometry, Ohio State Univ College of Optometry, Columbus, Ohio, United States
  • Lisa A Jones-Jordan
    Optometry, Ohio State Univ College of Optometry, Columbus, Ohio, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Dean VanNasdale, None; Lisa Jones-Jordan, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  CDC/NACCD multi-state vision needs assessment study
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2017, Vol.58, 2202. doi:
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      Dean A VanNasdale, Lisa A Jones-Jordan; Multi-state Assessment of Vision Impairment and Associated Morbidity. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):2202.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose : To assess the prevalence and co-morbidities associated with vision impairment (VI) using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data across 3 states.

Methods : Data from Ohio (OH), Alabama (AL), and Nebraska (NE) were extracted from the 2013 BRFSS dataset. Self-report of difficulty seeing with or without glasses was used to categorize VI vs non-VI. The prevalence rates of self-reported VI in each state were assessed and the prevalence rates of chronic conditions in the VI population were compared with that of the non-VI population. Specifically, we assessed difference general health status between the VI and non-VI populations as well as the prevalence of chronic conditions, including angina/coronary heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. Because the risk of falls is associated with VI, we compared the proportion of individual reporting difficulty walking or climbing stairs between the two groups.

Results : The prevalence of self-report VI is 4.80% (95% CI: 4.24 to 5.43), 7.79% (95% CI: 6.94 to 8.74), and 3.34% (95% CI: 2.95 to 3.77) for OH, AL, and NE, respectively. When averaged across the three states, 47% of those with VI reported excellent/very good/good general health status compared to 84% of those in the non-VI group. When averaged across the three states, the prevalence of heart disease (VI 12.7%, non-VI 4.3%), arthritis (VI 48.1%, non-VI 28.2%), and diabetes (VI 25.6%, non-VI 10.3%) were all higher in the VI group in each state, as well as reported difficulty walking or climbing stairs (VI 42.4%, non-VI 11.1%). The inter-state ranges in the VI group were 11.1-15.01% for heart disease, 39.2-55.1% for arthritis, 24.1-28.1% for diabetes, and 47.1-57.9% for difficulty climbing stairs.

Conclusions : The BRFSS demonstrates important associations with vision impairment, including similarities across geographic locations with chronic conditions/quality of life metrics that are associated with VI. This assessment can be used as a template to evaluate vision impairment more broadly nationally and with additional analysis of existing and subsequent administrations of the BRFSS.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.


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