ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Maggots as Good as Gel in Leg Ulcer Treatments
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
For All Their Plusses, Pets Pose a Risk for Falls, Too
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
CANCER
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
Study Cites Gains in Gall Bladder Cancer Treatment
CAREGIVING
Falls Are Top Cause of Injury, Death Among Elderly
Birthmark or Blood Vessel Problem?
Critically Ill Patients Lack Vitamin D
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
DIABETES
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Eating in America Still Unhealthy
Vitamin B12 Key to Aging Brain
Proven Strategies for Avoiding Colds and the Flu
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Exposure to 9/11 Fumes Tied to Chronic Headaches
Prenatal Exposure to Traffic Pollution May Lead to Asthma
Artificial Light Linked to Prostate Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Diabetic Hispanics Missing Out on Eye Exams
Glaucoma Associated With Reading Impairments in Elderly
Diabetic Eye Disease Rates Soaring
FITNESS
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
Almost Two-Thirds of Americans Meet Exercise Guidelines
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
Meat Additives May Be Dangerous for Kidney Patients
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Cocoa in Chocolate May Be Good for the Heart
Chinese Red Yeast Rice May Prevent Heart Attack
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Combo Treatment Eases Wheezing in Babies
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Traffic Seems to Make Kids' Asthma Worse
MEN'S HEALTH
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
MENTAL HEALTH
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
SENIORS
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Nighttime Urination Linked to Higher Death Rate Among Elderly
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
Add your Article

Eye Care Checkups Tied to Insurance Status

FRIDAY, March 13 (HealthDay News) -- Americans with inconsistent health-care coverage, or no health care coverage, are less likely to get regular eye care, even if they have vision problems, according to a new study.

The finding stems from a review of data on almost 290,000 adults who took part in the National Health Interview Survey from 1997 through 2005.

Respondents who said they sought eye care in the previous year included about 58 percent of those with severe visual impairment, 50 percent of those with some visual impairment and 34 percent of those with no visual impairment. Among people without health insurance, eye care visits were reported by about 36 percent of those with severe vision impairment, 24 percent who had some impairment and 14 percent with no visual impairment.

The lowest rates of eye care visits were reported by people without health insurance for a year or more. In this group, eye care visits were reported by 11 percent of those with no visual impairment, 20 percent who had some impairment and 34 percent with severe vision impairment.

"Interventions designed to increase eye care utilization rates in select socio-demographic subgroups are needed," wrote David J. Lee, of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and his colleagues. "Overall utilization rates may also be enhanced if progress is made toward dramatically increasing the number of Americans with health insurance."

The study was published in the March issue of Archives of Ophthalmology.

The researchers "assert that providing universal vision care coverage would insure that financial resources are no longer a barrier for those seeking access to a vision care provider," Steven M. Kymes and Kevin D. Frick, of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, wrote in an accompanying editorial. "However, we must also consider whether this would indeed be the most effective method to achieve the social goal of increased use of vision care services."

"Lee and his colleagues have made an important contribution to this growing literature by examining barriers to vision care," the editorial said. "However, the principles of scientific inquiry should not be shortchanged simply because we are debating a policy question rather than a biochemical one. The vision care community has an obligation to fully consider alternative solutions and their consequences in seeking ways to remove barriers to vision care."

More information

The U.S. National Eye Institute has more about financial aid for eye care.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, March 9, 2009

Last Updated: March 13, 2009

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