Date: December 2010
Creator: Mitzel, Gina Marie
Description: The purpose of this dissertation was to understand how genetics, socioeconomic status (SES), and lifestyle factors influence the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy in an adult population in Dallas County. Two hundred fifty-three older adults participated in this study as the sample. Crosstabulation and binary logistic regression were utilized to analyze the data. Results indicated a disparity among participants' test scores, visual health status, and perceptions of their visual impairment and highlighted the fact that many seniors are not educated about age-related retinal disorders. Furthermore, variables reaching statistical significance were consistent with the literature included race/ethnicity, age, having a family history of both AMD and diabetes, frequency of eye exams, and level of education. The results not consistent with the literature as affecting visual health included health insurance, access to health care, body weight, and smoking status. Recommendations for future study included applied research focusing on determining risk factors, raising awareness, educating, and providing early detection of these diseases among low to middle income Caucasian, African American, and Hispanic older adults.
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