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Bascom Palmer Eye Institute

Current Research in the Ocular Epidemiology Research Group

Trend of Age-Adjusted Reported Visual Impairment Prevalence by Smoking Status

Despite the burden of visual impairment (VI) there has been relatively little research on its influence on quality of life and risk of mortality. By using data from National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), which provides a nationally representative sample of US adults, the research team hopes to better understand the burden of VI in the US population. Our on-going research has several strengths including a very large sample of study subjects such as Hispanics and other minority groups, and mortality follow-up information.

The research team is currently using the redesigned NHIS along with the updated mortality linkage for the previous NHIS in order to better examine the epidemiology of VI with grant support from the National Eye Institute (NEI).

The goals of the group’s current research include:

  • Understand what factors or characteristics contribute to the association between visual impairment and mortality risk by using statistical methods such as Structural Equation Modeling (SEM).
  • Estimate the number of deaths from 1986 and 1996 to 2002 among visually impaired individuals in the U.S.
  • Identify the underlying cause of and characteristics associated with death of visually impaired individuals.
  • Estimate the proportion and severity of reported visual impairment in different subgroups (e.g. age-groups, gender, race, ethnicity).
  • Evaluate 7-year trends in visual impairment in different subgroups (e.g. age-groups, gender, race, ethnicity).
  • Evaluate the health and disability status of U.S. adults with visually impairment.
  • Evaluate the association between visual impairment and health care access.