Eye Care Disparities and Health-Related Consequences in Elderly Patients with Age-Related Eye Disease.

Umfress AC, Brantley MA
Semin Ophthalmol. 2016 31 (4): 432-8

PMID: 27116323 · PMCID: PMC4990069 · DOI:10.3109/08820538.2016.1154171

The elderly population in the United States (age 65 and older) is growing rapidly, estimated by the U.S. Census Department to reach 83.7 million by 2050.(1) Visual impairment increases with age among all racial and ethnic groups.(2) In the elderly, the most common culprits for vision loss are cataract, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).(2) In the developed world, vision loss from cataract has been dramatically reduced by increased access to cataract surgery. However, AMD and glaucoma lead to irreversible vision loss without early diagnosis and intervention. In the U.S., cases of AMD are expected to double by 2050, reaching 17.8 million among patients age 50 or older.(3) Similarly, cases of glaucoma are expected to reach 5.5 million by 2050, an increase of over 90% from 2014.(3) The visually impaired elderly face disparities in access to eye care, and subsequent general medical and psychosocial complications.

MeSH Terms (10)

Aged Aged, 80 and over Aging Eye Diseases Healthcare Disparities Health Services Accessibility Health Status Humans Vision Disorders Visually Impaired Persons

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