Causes of visual impairment and common eye problems in Northwest American Indians and Alaska Natives

Am J Public Health. 2005 May;95(5):881-6. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2004.054221.


Objectives: Little information exists regarding the causes of visual impairment and the most common eye problems in American Indians/Alaska Natives.

Methods: We randomly sampled American Indians/Alaska Natives older than 40 years from 3 tribes within the Northwest region.

Results: We found a higher prevalence of visual impairment and normal-tension glaucoma, as well as a lower prevalence of ocular hypertension, in American Indians/Alaska Natives compared with previous results in other racial/ethnic groups.

Conclusions: American Indians/Alaska Natives have a need for vision correction. Future interventions in American Indians/Alaska Natives should include providing spectacles for refractive error, detecting glaucoma, and preventing visual impairment from age-related maculopathy and cataracts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alaska / epidemiology
  • Eye Diseases / diagnosis
  • Eye Diseases / etiology*
  • Female
  • Glaucoma / diagnosis
  • Glaucoma / etiology
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American*
  • Inuit*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ocular Hypertension / diagnosis
  • Ocular Hypertension / etiology
  • Prevalence
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vision Disorders / diagnosis
  • Vision Disorders / etiology