Uncorrected refractive error in a latino population: Proyecto VER

Jorge A. Uribe, Bonnielin K. Swenor, Beatriz Munoz, Sheila K. West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose To determine the prevalence of refractive error (RE), the proportion of those with uncorrected RE, and factors associated with uncorrected RE in Latino adults. Design Population-based, cross-sectional study. Participants A random sample of 4509 Latinos aged <40 years from Arizona with both ophthalmic evaluation and questionnaire. Methods A case of RE was defined as a subject wearing prescription glasses for distance vision whose presenting visual acuity (PVA) was <20/25, or a subject with PVA <20/25 in at least 1 eye who improved <2 lines after subjective refraction and whose refractive correction met these cutoffs: sphere < -0.5 diopters (D) or >1.0 D or cylinder < +1.0 D. Among those with RE, those who on refraction achieved <2 line improvement in at least 1 eye (definition 1) or in both eyes (definition 2) were classified as uncorrected RE. A questionnaire on access to care, acculturation, and socioeconomic variables was used. Main Outcome Measures Prevalence of RE and proportion of uncorrected RE. Results The prevalence of RE was 64% in at least 1 eye and 51% in both eyes. Of participants with RE in at least 1 eye, 35% have uncorrected RE. Of those with RE in both eyes, 19% have uncorrected RE. Compared with participants with corrected RE, those with uncorrected RE in at least 1 eye were more likely to have lower levels of acculturation (odds ratio [OR] 1.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.11.4 per unit decrease) and education (OR 1.6 for ≤6 years vs. >12 years; 95% CI, 1.22.2). Uncorrected RE was also associated with not having insurance (OR 1.4; 95% CI, 1.11.6), with a low family income (OR 1.4; 95% CI, 1.11.7 for <$20,000/year), and with time since last health care visit (OR 1.4; 95% CI, 1.11.7 for >1 year vs. <6 months). Conclusions In our sample of Latinos, the proportion of uncorrected RE is high and suggests that one third of those with RE may benefit from new glasses. Indices of marginalization are associated with uncorrected RE and could be targeted for future interventions. Financial Disclosure(s) The author(s) have no proprietary or commercial interest in any materials discussed in this article.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)805-811
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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