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RESEARCH STUDY

RESEARCH

The Prevalence of Refractive Errors Among Adults in the United States, Western Europe, and Australia

AUTHOR:

The Eye Diseases Prevalence Research Group

SPONSOR/INSTITUTION:

National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health and Prevent Blindness America

YEAR PUBLISHED:

2004

PUBLICATION:

Arch Ophthalmol

KEY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The purpose of this study is to estimate the prevalence of refractive errors in persons 40 years and older.

  • Six studies provided data from 29 281 persons. In the US, Western European, and Australian year 2000 populations 40 years or older, the estimated crude prevalence for hyperopia of +3 D or greater was 9.9%, 11.6%, and 5.8%, respectively (11.8 million, 21.6 million, and 0.47 million persons).

  • For myopia of −1 D or less, the estimated crude prevalence was 25.4%, 26.6%, and 16.4% (30.4 million, 49.6 million, and 1.3 million persons), respectively, of whom 4.5%, 4.6%, and 2.8% (5.3 million, 8.5 million, and 0.23 million persons), respectively, had myopia of −5 D or less. Projected prevalence rates in 2020 were similar.

  • Refractive errors affect approximately one third of persons 40 years or older in the United States and Western Europe, and one fifth of Australians in this age group.