Uncovering Disparities in Vision Health in Rural vs Urban Areas: Is There a Difference?

Blindness is a significant public health concern, with disparities observed across demographics, socioeconomic status, disease history, genetics, and geographic location, particularly between urban and rural settings. The objective of this study was to explore potential discrepancies in vision care between rural and urban areas. Using cross-sectional data from the Vision and Eye Health Surveillance System, a multivariate binary logistic regression analysis was conducted. Results indicated that non-Hispanic black individuals in both upstate and downstate New York had the highest prevalence of blindness compared to other racial/ethnic groups. Factors associated with blindness included female gender, age 65 and older, non-Hispanic black ethnicity, and lack of Medicare coverage. Although blindness prevalence was slightly higher in upstate New York, the difference was not clinically significant compared to downstate New York, despite the latter having more resources. Given the seriousness of blindness as a public health issue, further investigation into the disparities in eye care between urban and rural settings is warranted.

Publication date

March 31, 2023


European Society of Medicine


Karen Allison; Leah Greene; Chanbin Lee; Deepkumar Patel
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