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Nonmetro residence and impaired vision among elderly Americans

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Johnson, Nan. 2004. "Nonmetro residence and impaired vision among elderly Americans." Journal of Rural Health, 20(2): 142-150.

Purpose: Nonmetro and metro elderly people are contrasted in their risk of having (relative to lacking) an impairment in distance vision and in near vision. Methods: Using the 1995-1996 panel (Wave 2) of the Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old (AHEAD) Survey, the prevalence of 5 eye-threatening conditions (cardiovascular disease, cataract, diabetes, glaucoma, and hypertension), a variety of medical treatments for these conditions, the number of talks/visits with doctors in the 2 years before Wave 2, and several relevant demographic characteristics of the 6,817 respondents were controlled. Findings: Nonmetro and metro elders have the same risk of impairment in distance vision. After controlling for other factors, nonmetro elders have a higher risk than their metro peers of an uncorrected impairment in near vision (probably presbyopia). Conclusions: Nonmetro elders may confront more impediments to updating their corrective lenses for presbyopia. Implications for public health policy are discussed.

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