Purpose: To review the existing knowledge on vision health disparities in major adult vision health outcomes (age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, cataract, refractive errors) and visual impairment and to identify knowledge gaps as related to the development of enhanced vision health surveillance in the United States. Design: Literature review. Methods: Analysis of relevant publications in the peer-reviewed literature. Results: Prevalence data on vision health outcomes is limited to findings from a few key population-based studies. Study populations are not representative of all persons living in the United States. Vision loss and visual impairment are more common with age, and there is racial variation in the specific causes of vision loss (underlying health conditions). Women are at greater risk of vision loss than men (even after adjusting for age). Vision-related disability and disparities in visual outcomes are monitored poorly at present. Conclusions: Data to assess and monitor trends in vision health disparities in the United States are not collected presently in a systematic fashion. This lack of data limits public health efforts to overcome barriers to eye care use and to improve vision outcomes.
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