New CDC Report on Vision Surveillance in the U.S.

The American Journal of Ophthalmology Publishes Supplement of CDC Articles on Vision Surveillance in the U.S.


Vision loss is a serious public health problem in the United States and will get worse in the next 30 years due to the aging of the population, increasing in chronic diseases affecting the eye and vision, and changing demographics of the US population. There are significant variations among demographic groups in vision outcomes. Therefore, the vision and eye care communities have identified the reduction of population disparities in visual loss and in access to eye care services as top public health priorities in Healthy People 2020.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) convened an expert panel of 14 national and international experts, to identify action steps and priorities to strengthen national and state surveillance systems  in assessing and monitoring disparities in eye health, vision loss, and access to eye care over time and responding to national, state, and local needs. The product of the meeting is eight papers that are published in a supplement at the American Journal of Ophthalmology.


The panel members agreed on how such a surveillance system would work and what the minimal content of such a system might entail. A vision surveillance system needs to:


    1. Link data collection and analyses with ongoing public health interventions to improve eye health disparities.


    1. Effectively assess vision loss and utilization of eye care.


    1. Include defined populations to assess the disparities in vision loss and in utilization of eye care services.


    1. Include and sustain ophthalmic/vision measurements and question components within national surveys.


    1. Be forged among federal agencies and other stakeholders to monitor the nation’s eye health and eye care utilization for trends in disparity.




Vision Surveillance as a Foundation of Public Health Webinar, Presentation Slides and Audio Recording


This webinar provides an overview of the review expert panel process and recommendations, characterize elements of a vision surveillance system, identify strategies for improving vision surveillance in the US, and identify resources for conducting vision surveillance, such as BRFSS, NHANES, and NHIS.






American Journal of Ophthalmology


Volume 154, Issue 6, Supplement, Pages A1-A10, S1-S70 (December 2012)












Vision Surveillance in the United States: Has the Time Come?

Pages S1-S2.e2

Sheila K. West, Paul Lee

















Surveillance of Disparities in Vision and Eye Health in the United States: An Expert Panel’s Opinions   Original Research Article

Pages S3-S7

Paul P. Lee, Sheila K. West, Sandra S. Block, Janine Clayton, Mary Frances Cotch, Colin Flynn, Linda S. Geiss, Ronald Klein, Timothy W. Olsen, Cynthia Owsley, Susan A. Primo, Gary S. Rubin, Asel Ryskulova, Sanjay Sharma, David S. Friedman, Xinzhi Zhang, John E. Crews, Jinan B. Saaddine













Building a Basis for Action: Enhancing Public Health Surveillance of Vision Impairment and Eye Health in the United States   Original Research Article

Pages S8-S22.e1

April Zambelli-Weiner, David S. Friedman













Disparities in Adult Vision Health in the United States   Original Research Article

Pages S23-S30.e1

April Zambelli-Weiner, John E. Crews, David S. Friedman













The Variability of Vision Loss Assessment in Federally Sponsored Surveys: Seeking Conceptual Clarity and Comparability   Original Research Article

Pages S31-S44.e1

John E. Crews, Donald J. Lollar, Alex R. Kemper, Lisa M. Lee, Cynthia Owsley, Xinzhi Zhang, Amanda F. Elliott, Chiu-Fang Chou, Jinan B. Saaddine













Disparities in Eye Care Utilization Among the United States Adults With Visual Impairment: Findings From the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System 2006-2009   Original Research Article

Pages S45-S52.e1

Chiu-Fang Chou, Lawrence E. Barker, John E. Crews, Susan A. Primo, Xinzhi Zhang, Amanda F. Elliott, Kai McKeever Bullard, Linda S. Geiss, Jinan B. Saaddine













Vision Health Disparities in the United States by Race/Ethnicity, Education, and Economic Status: Findings From Two Nationally Representative Surveys   Original Research Article

Pages S53-S62.e1

Xinzhi Zhang, Mary Frances Cotch, Asel Ryskulova, Susan A. Primo, Parvathy Nair, Chiu-Fang Chou, Linda S. Geiss, Lawrence E. Barker, Amanda F. Elliott, John E. Crews, Jinan B. Saaddine













Use of Electronic Health Records and Administrative Data for Public Health Surveillance of Eye Health and Vision-Related Conditions in the United States   Original Research Article

Pages S63-S70

Amanda F. Elliott, Arthur Davidson, Flora Lum, Michael F. Chiang, Jinan B. Saaddine, Xinzhi Zhang, John E. Crews, Chiu-Fang Chou