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Visual Impairment in Preschool Children in the United States

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Visual Impairment in Preschool Children in the United States: Demographic and Geographic Variations From 2015 to 2060 by Rohit Varma, MD, MPH; Kristina Tarczy-Hornoch, MD, DPhil; Xuejuan Jiang, PhD was published in JAMA Ophthalmology in June 2017.
 

Key Points

Question:

What are the demographic and geographic variations in visual impairment in preschool children in the United States in 2015 and what is the projected prevalence through 2060?

Findings:

In this prevalence study, the number of preschool children with visual impairment is projected to increase by 26% in 2060, with 69% of visual impairment resulting from simple uncorrected refractive error. Hispanic white children will account for the largest number and proportion of cases, followed by African American children.

Meaning:  

Vision screening and early intervention targeting preschool populations might prevent unnecessary VI and associated developmental delays such as poor reading skills.

Conclusions and Relevance:

These data suggest that the number of preschool children with VI is projected to increase disproportionally, especially among minority populations. Vision screening for refractive error and related eye diseases may prevent a high proportion of preschool children from experiencing unnecessary VI and associated developmental delays.

Read the full article.