MONDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- Over the past several decades there has been a significant decrease in the prevalence of self-reported visual impairment among older adults in the United States, according to research published online June 8 in Ophthalmology.
Angelo P. Tanna, M.D., from Northwestern University in Chicago, and H. Stephen Kaye, Ph.D., from the University of California at San Francisco, analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) from 1984 to 2010. Survey results were age-adjusted to a standard (2010) population.
The researchers found that, based on NHIS data, the prevalence of activity-limiting visual impairment among persons aged ≥65 years significantly declined by 51.7 percent from 1984 to 1996 (from 3.5 to 1.7 percent) and by 45.8 percent from 1997 to 2010 (from 3.1 to 1.7 percent). According to SIPP data, the prevalence of functional visual impairment in the same age group significantly declined by 58.3 percent from 1984 to 2010 (from 23.3 to 9.7 percent), whereas the prevalence of severe functional impairment declined by 47.1 percent (from 5.1 to 2.7 percent).
"There was a marked reduction in the prevalence of self-reported visual impairment in the non-institutionalized adult U.S. population during the period from 1984 to 2010," the authors write.
One author disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
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