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CDC launches nation’s first vision and eye health surveillance system

Loss of productivity, medical expenses cost approximately $139 billion annually

Posted July 25, 2018

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed the nation’s first Vision and Eye Health Surveillance System (VEHSS). Launched in collaboration with the National Opinion Research Center (NORC), the VEHSS is designed to help health care professionals, researchers, policymakers, and state health departments better understand the scope of vision loss, eye disorders, and eye care services in the United States.

Visitors to the site can search for information about eye conditions and diseases at the state and national levels. The system integrates data from a number of sources across multiple years.

An estimated 61 million adults in the United States are at high risk for serious vision loss. Chronic vision loss can amplify the adverse effects of other chronic illnesses and is associated with an increased risk for all-cause and injury-related mortality.

A national study commissioned by Prevent Blindness found that direct medical expenses, other direct expenses, loss of productivity, and other indirect costs for visual disorders across all age groups were approximately $139 billion in 2013 dollars.

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