alexa A Canadian population-based study of vision problems: assessing the significance of socioeconomic status.


Primary Healthcare: Open Access

Author(s): Perruccio AV, Badley EM, Trope GE

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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To examine the relationship between age, gender, socioeconomic status, and 3 chronic conditions (glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetes) and corrected and uncorrected vision problems, and to document the prevalence of visual problems in Canada across the adult age range. DESIGN: Cross-sectional, representative, population-based study. PARTICIPANTS: Health survey respondents (n = 113 212, aged ≤20 years). METHODS: Data are from a 2000-2001 Canadian health survey. Self-reported data included sociodemographic/economic characteristics, vision problems, eye care professional consultations, and medical conditions. Prevalence estimates were calculated; multinomial logistic regression examined the relationship between indicated variables and vision problems, generally and by type. RESULTS: Fifty-seven percent of adults reported some form of vision problem, the majority corrected by lenses. Blindness was reported by 0.09\% of adults. Increasing age, being female, and having a low income and lower educational attainment were significantly associated with reported vision problems. However, age and gender were not significant determinants of the type of vision problem. Cataracts, diabetes, and glaucoma in particular, were significantly associated with reported vision problems. CONCLUSIONS: Socioeconomic characteristics may underscore the socioeconomic burden of visual impairments in the population and highlight obstacles to eye service utilization among subgroups. This information is essential to establishing the need for treatment and management services, developing targeted screening programmes, and identifying priority areas of research. This article was published in Can J Ophthalmol and referenced in Primary Healthcare: Open Access

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