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Association Between E-Cigarette Use and Visual Impairment in the United States

Published:September 26, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajo.2021.09.014

      Abstract

      Purpose

      To determine whether there is an association between e-cigarette use and visual impairment in the United States adult population.

      Design

      Cross-sectional

      Methods

      Setting

      Population survey study

      Study Population

      1,173,646 adults ages 18 or older from all 50 United States and 3 U.S. territories with self-reported responses to the CDC's 2016-2018 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) annual telephone survey.

      Exposure

      E-cigarette use (current, former, or never), assessed by the questions: “Have you ever used an e-cigarette or other electronic vaping product, even just one time, in your entire life?” and “Do you now use e-cigarettes or other electronic vaping products every day, some days, or not at all?”

      Main Outcome and Measure

      Visual impairment, defined as a binary outcome “yes” or “no” to: “Are you blind or do you have serious difficulty seeing, even when wearing glasses?”

      Results

      After excluding missing data, there were 1,173,646 participants. The adjusted odds ratio of visual impairment in current e-cigarette users compared to never e-cigarette users was 1.34 (95% CI, 1.20-1.48), and in former e-cigarette users was 1.14 (95% CI, 1.06-1.22)
      In the subgroup of 662,033 never users of traditional cigarettes (weighted 59.6% of study population), the adjusted odds ratio of visual impairment in current e-cigarette users compared to never e-cigarette users was 1.96 (95% CI, 1.48-2.61), and in former e-cigarette users was 1.02 (95% CI, 0.89-1.18).

      Conclusions

      Current compared to never e-cigarette usage was associated with a higher odds of visual impairment in the BRFSS 2016-2018 population, independent of traditional cigarette use.
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