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October 1990

Blacks at Greater Risk for Blindness

Author Affiliations

Santa Monica, Calif

Arch Ophthalmol. 1990;108(10):1377-1378. doi:10.1001/archopht.1990.01070120023008

To the Editor.  —Preventable blindness is and should be a major concern for all opthalmologists. The recent report of the Baltimore (Md) Eye Survey by Tielsch et al1 in the February 1990 issue of the Archives should be required reading not only for all ophthalmologists, but for all family-practice physicians and other providers of primary health care because of the compelling public health implications of their findings. The authors report the finding of a prevalence rate of blindness among blacks that is double the rate among whites. In 1979, I reported identical findings based on analysis of model reporting area (MRA) data.2 In addition, I found that blacks were eight times more likely to be blinded due to glaucoma than whites (Figure and Table).Comparatively, the MRA data in Table 41 show a lower prevalence of blindness among blacks (ie, 1.20% in the age group 65 to

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