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"Vision Impairment: Racial & Ethnic Differences" *I thought I would share this with my readers.*

Posted Aug 28 2010 7:50am
**I grabbed this article from the Lighthouse International's website. Even though most of the data is over 10 years old, I thought I would still share. I seriously doubt if these disparities have disappeared since the time these stats were recorded.**

•Based on findings from The Lighthouse National Survey on Vision Loss (The Lighthouse Inc., 1995), among persons age 45 and older, those who report some form of vision problem are more likely to be non-Caucasian (23%) in comparison to those who report no vision impairment (17%).

•African-Americans have a higher rate of legal blindness than Caucasians, but much of this difference may be due to poor access to appropriate eye care services (Prevent Blindness America, 1994, p.3).

•The Baltimore Eye Survey found that the overall age-adjusted rates of visual impairment among African-Americans was twice that of whites (Tielsch, Sommer, Witt, Katz, & Royall, 1990).

•Data from the 1991-92 Survey of Income and Program Participation indicate that a higher proportion of African-Americans have visual impairments than do Caucasians. Although African-Americans comprise 12% of the U.S. population, among persons with visual impairments 18% are African-Americans and among those with a severe visual impairment 21% are African-Americans (Schmeidler & Halfmann, 1998a, p.539).

•The Los Angeles Latino Eye Study (LALES) found that the rates of vision impairment in Latinos are higher than those reported in Whites and comparable to those reported in Blacks (National Eye Institute, 2004).


Glaucoma

•The overall prevalence of open-angle glaucoma among Latinos in the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study (LALES) was nearly five percent. This is higher than the rate reported for Whites and similar to that for Blacks in this country (National Eye Institute, 2004).

•Based on findings from the Baltimore Eye Survey, the prevalence of blindness due to glaucoma is 4 to 6 times higher among African-Americans than Caucasians (Tielsch, Sommer, Witt, Katz, & Royall, 1990).

•Almost 4% of African-Americans (409,643) (age 40 and over) are reported to have glaucoma as compared to about 1.7% of Caucasians (1.6 million) and 1.5% of Hispanics (131,654) (Prevent Blindness America, 2002).

•Research on a population-based sample found that glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness among Hispanics (Rodriguez, 2002).


Diabetic Retinopathy

•The Los Angeles Latino Eye Study (LALES) found that almost one-half of all study participants with diabetes-almost a quarter of the LALES population-had some signs of diabetic retinopathy. Latinos had a higher rate of more severe vision-threatening diabetic retinopathy than Whites (National Eye Institute, 2004).

•According to Prevent Blindness America (2002), before age 40, diabetic retinopathy affects Caucasians more frequently than other races, however Hispanics are the most commonly affected in later decades.

•Mexican Americans are almost twice as likely and non-Hispanic blacks are almost 50% as likely to develop diabetic retinopathy as non-Hispanic whites (American Diabetes Association, n.d., b).


Macular Degeneration

•The Los Angeles Latino Eye Study (LALES) found that while Latinos had the early signs of AMD at rates comparable to Whites, the rates of advanced AMD were lower than seen in Whites and comparable to Blacks (National Eye Institute, 2004).

•Age-specific prevalence rates of age-related macular degeneration are initially comparable between races, however advance more significantly for Caucasians after age 75 (Prevent Blindness America, 2002, p.18).
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