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July 3, 1948

Causes of Blindness Among Recipients of Aid to the Blind

JAMA. 1948;137(10):915-916. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890440091032

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This report analyzes the causes of blindness of nearly 21,000 recipients of aid to the blind as taken from medical records in twenty states during 1940 and 1941. As a result of uniform procedures required as a condition of federal welfare grants, the Bureau of Public Assistance was able to collect comprehensive and comparable data on the causes of blindness of recipients in relation to their age, sex, race and age at onset of blindness. Standard definitions and classifications were followed by the states included in the study. The chief source of information was the physician's report of eye examinations required for each applicant for aid to the blind and containing a diagnosis of the eye condition, cause and nature of the defect, a report of remaining vision, prognosis and recommendation of treatment. Causes of blindness were classified according to site and type of pathologic condition and etiology of defect.

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