Methods

To identify the prevalence estimates of six common eye disorders, we performed PubMed searches surveying literature published from 1991 to 2016.  Searches were conducted between December 17, 2015, and October 6, 2017.

The search terms used were “prevalence” and one of the following terms:

  • “Age-related macular degeneration,” and “age-related maculopathy.”
  • “Diabetic retinopathy.”
  • “Glaucoma.”
  • “Cataract.”
  • “Vision impairment,” “visual impairment,” and “acuity.”
  • “Blindness.”
  • “Uncorrected refractive error.”
  • “Retinopathy,” and “prematurity.”

We included studies conducted in the United States with prevalence estimates derived from primary data and excluded articles with prevalence estimates based on survey data, statistical modeling, and articles with older prevalence estimates when newer estimates from the same study were available. Each article was further assessed for inclusion based on specified inclusion criteria:

Inclusion Criteria

  • Publication:
    • Study is published in a peer-reviewed manuscript.
    • Study was published after 1991.
  • Data and population:
    • Is a population-based study that is representative of the target population from which the participants were sampled.
    • Data represents primary analysis or meta-analysis of primary data.
    • Age-specific and/or race/ethnicity-specific and/or location-specific prevalence estimates are reported.
  • Vision and eye disease measurement:
    • Vision and eye disease are assessed using objective measures or grading, or the presence of a diagnosis code in administrative data.
    • Visual impairment is defined using measures of best-corrected visual acuity (to differentiate visual acuity impairment due to refractive error and eye disease).
    • Age-related macular degeneration/diabetic retinopathy–dilated eye exams were used to examine the retina, retinal images were taken, and graded using a systematic (and ideally validated) protocol (e.g. the Age-related Eye Disease Study [AREDS] grading scale).
    • Glaucoma–diagnosis is based on clinical assessment of intraocular pressure, visual fields, and cup to disk ration.
    • Cataract–graded from lens photographs using a systematic and validated protocol (e.g., the Wisconsin Cataract Grading Scale).
    • Studies using chart review or other methods may be included in the literature review with discretion.

The final search yielded 77 articles.