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Use of Eye Care Services Among American Adults

Of the estimated 61 million adults in the United States classified as being at high risk for serious vision loss, we estimated that only half visited an eye doctor in the past 12 months and half had a dilated eye examination. We found that of an estimated 78 million people with dilated eye examinations, 42.0% were at high risk and 58.0% were not at high risk. We also found that 1 of 12 persons at high risk and 1 of 25 not at high risk could not afford eyeglasses when needed.


Estimated eye care use among American adults at high risk for serious vision loss vs those at low risk.

Of the estimated 61 million adults in the United States classified as being at high risk for serious vision loss, we estimated that only half visited an eye doctor in the past 12 months and half had a dilated eye examination. Of an estimated 78 million people with dilated eye examinations, 42.0% were at high risk and 58.0% were not at high risk; and that 1 of 12 persons at high risk and 1 of 25 not at high risk could not afford eyeglasses when needed.

Data Source: 2002 National Health Interview Survey

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Zhang X, Saaddine JB, Lee PP, et al. Eye care in the United States: do we deliver to high-risk people who can benefit most from it? Arch Ophthalmol 2007;125(3):411–418.

Note: People at high risk for serious vision loss include those with self-reported diabetes, those having self-reported vision or eye problems, or those aged 65 years and older. The percentage of the population refers to those who visited an eye doctor in the past 12 months, had a dilated eye examination in the past 12 months, or cannot afford eyeglasses when needed. Numbers in parentheses represent the number of millions of persons to which the percentage applies for the high-risk and low-risk subpopulations; error bars, 95% confidence intervals.


 
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