Objectives: To report the prevalence of visually significant cataract and cataract surgery and to determine demographic and socioeconomic factors that influence use of cataract surgery in a US Hispanic population. Methods: Proyecto VER is a population-based study of Hispanic individuals, 40 years or older, living in southern Arizona. Visual acuity was measured monocularly, and a dilated ophthalmic examination was performed to determine lens opacities. Visually significant cataract was defined as severe levels of opacity and acuity worse than 20/40. Risk factors were compared between those who obtained cataract surgery in the past and those having visually significant cataract. Results: A majority of the 4774 participants in this study were of Mexican descent; 2.8% had visually significant cataract and 5.1% had undergone bilateral cataract surgery. Among those currently or previously needing surgery, having medical insurance (odds ratio, 2.88; P<.001) and speaking English (odds ratio, 1.80; P=.04) were significantly associated with having obtained surgery in the past. Conclusions: Visually significant cataract appears to be high among US Hispanic individuals of Mexican descent, as evidenced by rates of cataract and cataract surgery. Language and financial barriers in this population impede access to surgery. Further work to remove these barriers and provide sight restoration is warranted among Hispanic individuals of Mexican descent living in the United States.
ASJC Scopus subject areas