Socioeconomic disparity in access to spectacles among US retirees

New research has highlighted that older, non-white, less affluent individuals with lower education levels are less likely to afford glasses


A new study has revealed socioeconomic differences in whether older US adults have access to spectacles.

The research, which was published in JAMA Ophthalmology, estimated the number of Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 years and older who used spectacles for distance and near vision correction.

Scientists found that those who wore spectacles were more likely to come from certain demographic groups.

Individuals who were older, non-white, less affluent and had lower education levels were less likely to own spectacles.

“This finding suggests that innovative public policy solutions are needed to address these disparities among the large number of Medicare beneficiaries who use eyeglasses,” the authors highlighted.

Approximately 27 million beneficiaries used spectacles for distance vision correction, while around 37.2 million beneficiaries used spectacles for near vision correction.

The study data was taken from the 2015 US National Health and Ageing Trends Study.