Author(s):Klein R,Klein BE. The prevalence of age-related eye diseases and visual impairment in aging: current estimates. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013 Dec 13;54(14):ORSF5-ORSF13. doi: 10.1167/iovs.13-12789. Review. PMID 24335069
PURPOSE To examine prevalence of five age-related eye conditions (age-related cataract, AMD, open-angle glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy [DR], and visual impairment) in the United States.
METHODS Review of published scientific articles and unpublished research findings.
RESULTS Cataract, AMD, open-angle glaucoma, DR, and visual impairment prevalences are high in four different studies of these conditions, especially in people over 75 years of age. There are disparities among racial/ethnic groups with higher age-specific prevalence of DR, open-angle glaucoma, and visual impairment in Hispanics and blacks compared with whites, higher prevalence of age-related cataract in whites compared with blacks, and higher prevalence of late AMD in whites compared with Hispanics and blacks. The estimates are based on old data and do not reflect recent changes in the distribution of age and race/ethnicity in the United States population. There are no epidemiologic estimates of prevalence for many visually-impairing conditions.
CONCLUSIONS Ongoing prevalence surveys designed to provide reliable estimates of visual impairment, AMD, age-related cataract, open-angle glaucoma, and DR are needed. It is important to collect objective data on these and other conditions that affect vision and quality of life in order to plan for health care needs and identify areas for further research.