Objectives: This study estimated the prevalence of self-rated visual impairment among US adults with diabetes and identified correlates of such impairment.
Methods: Self-reported data from the 1995 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey of adults 18 years and older with diabetes were analyzed. Correlates of visual impairment were examined by multiple logistic regression analysis.
Results: The prevalence of self-rated visual impairment was 24.8% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 22.3%, 27.3%). Among insulin users, multivariable-adjusted odds ratios were 4.9 (95% CI = 2.6, 9.2) for those who had not completed high school and 1.8 (95% CI = 1.0, 2.8) for those who had completed high school compared with those with higher levels of education. Comparable estimates of odds ratios for nonusers of insulin were 2.2 (95% CI = 1.4, 3.4) and 1.3 (95% CI = 0.9, 2.0), respectively. Among nonusers, the adjusted odds for minority adults were 2.4 (95% CI = 1.0, 3.7) times the odds for non-Hispanic Whites.
Conclusions: By these data, 1.6 million US adults with diabetes reported having some degree of visual impairment. Future research on the specific causes of visual impairment may help in estimating the avoidable public health burden.