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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
July 14, 2015

Severe Vision Loss and Poverty

JAMA. 2015;314(2):116. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.7235

A disproportionate number of US adults with severe vision loss (SVL) live in the South, many below the federal poverty level, according to a recent analysis.

The study of vision loss and its association with poverty in 3143 counties was based on 2009 to 2013 data from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The findings showed that more than three-quarters (77.3%) of counties in the top quartile of SVL prevalence were located in the South. Among them, 55.5% also were in the top quartile of poverty. Of the 437 counties in the top quartiles for both, 83.1% were located in southern states (Kirtland KA et al. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015;64[10]:513-517).