June 2022
Volume 63, Issue 7
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2022
The Myopia Management Opportunity in the United States Using the 2020 Census
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Patricia Fortin
    Nassau University Medical Center, East Meadow, New York, United States
  • Justin Kwan
    Coopervision Inc, Fairport, New York, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Patricia Fortin None; Justin Kwan CooperVision, Code E (Employment)
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2022, Vol.63, 244 – A0098. doi:
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      Patricia Fortin, Justin Kwan; The Myopia Management Opportunity in the United States Using the 2020 Census. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2022;63(7):244 – A0098.

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

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Purpose : Younger children with myopia benefit most from myopia control treatment(s), which function by slowing myopia progression until eye growth stabilizes. Estimation of myopia prevalence for individuals 5 to 17 years of age in the United States (US) population is of relevance to guide current and future public health responses. Coupling myopia prevalence cross sectional data demographics with the 2020 US Census data offers the opportunity to provide a more up to date estimate of myopia prevalence among children in the US and the subsequent demand on the eye care profession to effectively manage these children.

Methods : The retrospective data set of Kaiser Permanente Southern California pediatric eye exams (Theophanous, 2018) was used to determine the rate of myopia in the 5 to 17 year old age group. This rate was defined as the urban rate of myopia and was then extrapolated to the entire US population, where 80.7% of the US are living in similar urban environments according to the US Census. To estimate the remaining myopia prevalence in rural environments, the myopia odds ratio of 2.61 in urban to rural was applied (Rudnicka, 2016). This gives an estimate of the total myopia prevalence in the US.

Results : The urban myopia prevalence from the Kaiser paper for age 5 to 17 was 41.0%, and the calculated rural prevalence was 15.7%. Extrapolating these myopia prevalence percentage estimations to age-matched US census data, the total number of children with myopia in the US was estimated to be 19,512,708 in 2020 with nationwide myopia prevalence of 36.1%. Holden, 2016 predicted global myopia prevalence of all ages to be 33.9% in the year 2020. Current census data shows Utah, Texas, and Idaho have the largest population proportion of children in this age range; however, the more populous states (California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Illinois) have the greatest number of children, and therefore the greatest numbers of children with myopia.

Conclusions : Estimation of myopia prevalence using the 2020 US Census reveals that 39,025,416 eye exams are required annually across the United States for each child with myopia to be evaluated twice per year. There are approximately 70,000 optometrists and ophthalmologists in the US, and not all provide eye care for children. Each eye care professional would need to provide care to 278 children biannually to meet the current eye care requirements of children with myopia in the US.

This abstract was presented at the 2022 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Denver, CO, May 1-4, 2022, and virtually.


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