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  • 1. Women and Eye Disease 2006 Presentation prepared by:
  • 2.
    • World-wide, 2/3 rds of all blind or visually impaired persons are women.
    • 3/4 ths of all blindness and visual impairment is either preventable or treatable.
    Blindness and visual impairment
  • 3. Evidence
    • In 2001, a meta-analysis of over 70 population-based studies reported that two-thirds of all blind and visually-impaired persons throughout the world, are women.
  • 4. Findings
    • Age-adjusted odds ratio of blindness in women compared to men
      • Africa 1.39 (1.2-1.6)
      • Asia 1.41 (1.3-1.6)
      • Industrialized 1.63 (1.3-2.1)
      • Overall 1.43 (1.3-1.5)
    Abou-Gareeb et al. Gender and blindness: a meta-analysis of population-based prevalence surveys. Ophthal Epidem. 2001;8:39-56.
  • 5. USA
    • In the US
      • Over 1 million legally blind people, including over 700,000 women
      • Over 3.4 million Americans suffering from visual impairment, about 2.3 million are women
  • 6. Vision problems in US
    • US Census population
      • Female 63,704,939
      • Male 55,681,313
    • Blindness
      • Female 712,171
      • Male 334,748
    • Visual impairment
      • Female 2,253,866
      • Male 1,152,413
    • US Prevalence in 2000
    • AMD with vision loss
      • 1.8 million
    • Glaucoma
      • 2.2 million
    • Diabetic Retinopathy
      • 4.2 million
    • Cataract
      • 20.5 million and Number of Americans with age-related eye disease and vision impairment will double in next 3 decades
  • 7. Reasons for Gender Disparity
    • Worldwide rates of blindness and visual impairment are higher in women in most age groups.
    • In industrial countries there is longer life expectancy in women, and blindness and visual impairment increases with age.
  • 8. Gender Disparity - Worldwide
    • Higher incidence of cataract and trichiasis in women
    • Some eye diseases are intrinsically more prevalent in women
    • In some countries, women do not have equal access to eye care information and services
  • 9. Gender Disparity - Industrialized Countries
    • Vision-altering and sight-threatening eye diseases more common in women
      • dry-eye syndrome
      • rheumatoid diseases
      • certain forms of cataract
      • age-related conditions
      • 1 . macular degeneration
      • 2. cataract
  • 10. Age-related chronic diseases, such as CVD and cancer, and age-related causes of blindness, such as cataract and AMD, share a number of modifiable risk factors: smoking diabetes physical inactivity obesity hypertension hormones poor nutrition Prevention
  • 11. Poor Vision is Bad for you Visual impairment significantly reduces 1. The quality and length of life 2. Independent living 3. Healthy aging Consequences of Visual Impairment: Increased social isolation Increased morbidity Poor vision is much more common than realized Half of vision impairment is correctable and one quarter is preventable
  • 12. WEHTF Activities
    • Public education outreach through print and radio media
    • Materials development for Lions Eye Health Program (LEHP) program and for doctors’ offices
    • Partnerships with The Harvard Medical COE in Women’s Health, other women’s health organizations and organizations that advocate for eye health
    • Symposia at national and other meetings such as the international symposium on Nov 7th, 2003: “Improving Women’s Eye Health: Strategies to address the greater burden of blindness among women”
  • 13. Information on Women’s Eye Health