Prevalence of pediatric eye disease in the optumlabs data warehouse

Stacy L. Pineles, Michael X. Repka, Federico G. Velez, Fei Yu, Claudia Perez, Danielle Sim, Anne L. Coleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To define the prevalence of medical eye disease diagnoses among children enrolled in commercial insurance plans in the United States and to evaluate differences among groups based on the US census region, race/ethnicity, and familial net worth. Methods: : Retrospective study of de-identified claims data from the OptumLab® Data Warehouse (OLDW) between 2007 and 2018. All children (<19 years) in the OLDW with coverage were studied and those with a claim for a significant eye disease (strabismus, amblyopia, nystagmus or structural eye disorders) with minimum 6-months follow-up were studied. Baseline characteristics were extracted for the calculation of eye disease prevalence, including age, sex, race/ethnicity, region of residence, and family net worth. The prevalence of each type of eye disease was calculated among all children and by baseline characteristics. Results: : 10,759,066 children met the study criteria. The presence of any significant eye diagnosis was 6.7%. Disease was diagnosed more often in whites (6.9%) than blacks (5.6%) and Hispanics (5.9%). The most common eye disease diagnosed was strabismus (3.2%) followed by amblyopia (1.5%). In the North-East region, there was a 10.6% prevalence of any significant eye disease diagnosis, whereas in the Mid-West, it was 7.4% followed by the South and West (5.9% and 5.3%, respectively) (p < .001). There was an increase in eye disease diagnoses with increasing income (5.5% in<$25,000 and 9.4% in >$500,000 household net worth groups, p > .001). Conclusion: : Diagnosis of significant eye diseases is relatively common in American children. The most common medical eye disease diagnosis is strabismus. Prevalence of eye disease diagnosis from claims data varies between geographical regions and different income groups. This may reflect differences in healthcare utilization rather than true disease prevalence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-544
Number of pages8
JournalOphthalmic Epidemiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2022


  • Pediatric ophthalmology
  • amblyopia
  • eye disease
  • healthcare disparity
  • strabismus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Ophthalmology


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