Sight-Threatening Ocular Diseases Remain Underdiagnosed Among Children Of Less Affluent Families.

Journal Article

Sight-threatening eye diseases such as strabismus (misaligned eyes) and amblyopia (lazy eye) develop during childhood. The earlier in life these diseases are diagnosed and effectively treated, the greater the chance of preventing irreversible long-term sight loss. Using 2001-14 claims data for nearly 900,000 US children with health insurance, we followed a cohort for up to fourteen years from birth, to assess whether household net worth affected rates of visits to ophthalmologists and optometrists or rates of diagnoses of strabismus and amblyopia. We found considerably lower use of eye care services among children in less affluent families than among those in more affluent ones, resulting in estimates of nearly 13,000 missed strabismus diagnoses and over 5,000 missed amblyopia diagnoses in a ten-year period. Despite ongoing efforts to improve screening rates for serious childhood ocular disorders, more attention should be directed to overcoming economic barriers that keep children from obtaining necessary eye care services.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Stein, JD; Andrews, C; Musch, DC; Green, C; Lee, PP

Published Date

  • August 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 35 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 1359 - 1366

PubMed ID

  • 27503958

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1544-5208

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0278-2715

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1377/hlthaff.2015.1007

Language

  • eng