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Blindness and Visual Impairment in an American Urban Population: The Baltimore Eye Survey

Blindness and Visual Impairment in an American Urban Population: The Baltimore Eye Survey Abstract • Data on the prevalence of blindness and visual impairment in multiracial urban populations of the United States are not readily available. The Baltimore Eye Survey was designed to address this lack of information and provide estimates of prevalence in age-race subgroups that had not been well studied in the past. A population-based sample of 5300 blacks and whites from east Baltimore, Md, received an ophthalmologic screening examination that included detailed visual acuity measurements. Blacks had, on average, a twofold excess prevalence of blindness and visual impairment than whites, irrespective of definition. Rates rose dramatically with age for all definitions of vision loss, but there was no difference in prevalence by sex. More than 50% of subjects improved their presenting vision after refractive correction, with 7.5% improving three or more lines. Rates in Baltimore are as high or higher than those reported from previous studies. National projections indicate that greater than 3 million persons are visually impaired, 890 000 of whom are bilaterally blind by US definitions. References 1. Kahn HA, Moorhead HB. Statistics on Blindness in the Model Reporting Area 1969-1970 . Washington, DC: Office of Biometry and Epidemiology, National Eye Institute; 1973. Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare publication NIH 73-427. 2. Roberts J, Lundford J. Monocular visual acuity of persons 4-74 years, United States, 1971-1972 . Vital and Health Stat 11 . Washington, DC: National Center for Health Statistics; 1977. Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare publication HRA 77-1646. 3. Kirchner C, Peterson R. The latest data on visual disability from NCHS . J Visual Impariment Blindness . 1979;73:151-153. 4. Leibowitz HM, Krueger DE, Maunder LR, et al. The Framingham eye study monograph . Surv Ophthalmol . 1980;24( (suppl) ):335-610.Crossref 5. Ferris FL, Kassoff A, Bresnick GH, Bailey I. New visual acuity charts for clinical research . Am J Ophthalmol . 1982;94:91-96. 6. Ferris FL, Sperduto RD. Standardized illumination for visual acuity testing in clinical research . Am J Ophthalmol . 1982;94:97-98. 7. World Health Organization. Blindness information collected from various sources . Epidemiol Vital Stat Rep . 1966;19:437-511. 8. Manual of the International Classification of Diseases, Injuries, and Causes of Death . Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 1977. 9. Charman WN. Visual standards for driving . Ophthalmic Physiol Opt . 1985;5:211-220.Crossref http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archives of Ophthalmology American Medical Association

Blindness and Visual Impairment in an American Urban Population: The Baltimore Eye Survey

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1990 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
0003-9950
eISSN
1538-3687
DOI
10.1001/archopht.1990.01070040138048
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract • Data on the prevalence of blindness and visual impairment in multiracial urban populations of the United States are not readily available. The Baltimore Eye Survey was designed to address this lack of information and provide estimates of prevalence in age-race subgroups that had not been well studied in the past. A population-based sample of 5300 blacks and whites from east Baltimore, Md, received an ophthalmologic screening examination that included detailed visual acuity measurements. Blacks had, on average, a twofold excess prevalence of blindness and visual impairment than whites, irrespective of definition. Rates rose dramatically with age for all definitions of vision loss, but there was no difference in prevalence by sex. More than 50% of subjects improved their presenting vision after refractive correction, with 7.5% improving three or more lines. Rates in Baltimore are as high or higher than those reported from previous studies. National projections indicate that greater than 3 million persons are visually impaired, 890 000 of whom are bilaterally blind by US definitions. References 1. Kahn HA, Moorhead HB. Statistics on Blindness in the Model Reporting Area 1969-1970 . Washington, DC: Office of Biometry and Epidemiology, National Eye Institute; 1973. Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare publication NIH 73-427. 2. Roberts J, Lundford J. Monocular visual acuity of persons 4-74 years, United States, 1971-1972 . Vital and Health Stat 11 . Washington, DC: National Center for Health Statistics; 1977. Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare publication HRA 77-1646. 3. Kirchner C, Peterson R. The latest data on visual disability from NCHS . J Visual Impariment Blindness . 1979;73:151-153. 4. Leibowitz HM, Krueger DE, Maunder LR, et al. The Framingham eye study monograph . Surv Ophthalmol . 1980;24( (suppl) ):335-610.Crossref 5. Ferris FL, Kassoff A, Bresnick GH, Bailey I. New visual acuity charts for clinical research . Am J Ophthalmol . 1982;94:91-96. 6. Ferris FL, Sperduto RD. Standardized illumination for visual acuity testing in clinical research . Am J Ophthalmol . 1982;94:97-98. 7. World Health Organization. Blindness information collected from various sources . Epidemiol Vital Stat Rep . 1966;19:437-511. 8. Manual of the International Classification of Diseases, Injuries, and Causes of Death . Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 1977. 9. Charman WN. Visual standards for driving . Ophthalmic Physiol Opt . 1985;5:211-220.Crossref

Journal

Archives of OphthalmologyAmerican Medical Association

Published: Feb 1, 1990

References