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continues its series of educational briefings on breakthrough developments in eye and vision research

Please join us for a

Luncheon Briefing on

"Vision Health Disparities Research"

Wednesday, September 8, 2004 12:00 Noon - 1:15 pm Rayburn B-369 Please R.S.V.P. to Dina Beaumont @ 202-530-4672 or

Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR)
Congressional Briefing and Luncheon:
"Vision Health Disparities Research " Wednesday, September 8, 2004
12 Noon - 1:15 pm , Rayburn B-369
RSVP to: 202-530-4672 or

Why is research into vision health disparities important?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) cites health disparities research as one of its top priorities, along with chronic diseases, aging, and disease co-morbidities. Earlier this year, the National Eye Institute (NEI) reported on the increasing incidence of chronic eye diseases in Americans aged 40 and older (e.g., Age-related Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma, and Cataract), as well as Diabetic Retinopathy associated with the onset of diabetes. This same study reported a disproportionate incidence of glaucoma and cataracts in the African American and Hispanic populations, and higher rates of Diabetic Retinopathy due to a greater incidence of diabetes.

Eye disease and vision impairment already costs the US $68 billion annually and will increase as the population ages, especially the fast-growing Hispanic population, reflecting direct costs of health care and lost productivity, as well as lost independence and diminished quality of life.

What are the latest findings?

The NEI recently released results of the largest study ever of visual impairment in Latinos-the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study (LALES)-that found a high rate of open-angle Glaucoma and Diabetic Retinopathy. In June, NEI reported on an Ocular Hypertension study subset analysis of African Americans that found that pressure-reducing drops could delay or prevent Glaucoma. Both studies were also funded by the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities and Research to Prevent Blindness.

Who will speak?

  • Rohit Varma, M.D., M.P.H., the Principal Investigator in the LALES Study and an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Preventive Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine's Doheny Eye Institute at the University of Southern California.

  • Mildred Olivier, M.D., F.A.C.S, a nationally noted Glaucoma specialist and President and CEO of the Midwest Glaucoma Center, which treats patients in the Chicago area. She also serves as a member of the National Advisory Eye Council.

About AEVR.
The Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating Congress and the public about the importance of federal funding for eye and vision research. Founded in 1993, AEVR is the first organization of its kind to bring together stakeholders in the research community-including ophthalmic and optometric professionals, manufacturers, and consumers-to speak with a unified voice about the economic and societal value of eye and vision research. Visit AEVR's Web site at