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Visual Correction and Occupational Social Class

Guisasola, Laura*; Tresserras, Ricard; Rius, Anna*; Purtí, Elisabeth

doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000000222
Original Articles

Purpose To determine whether types of optical correction for refractive error are associated with sex, social class, and occupational group in the working population.

Methods A cross-sectional study was carried out among employees in Catalonia (Spain) aged 16 to 65 years who underwent the Asepeyo Prevention Society health examination in 2009 (86,831 participants: 59,397 men and 27,421 women). The type and purpose of refractive correction used were self-reported, as were sociodemographic variables; visual acuity with habitual correction was also measured. We performed descriptive and logistic regression analyses to evaluate the prevalence and type of correction used for refractive error as a function of age, sex, social class, and occupational group.

Results Forty-six percent (95% confidence interval [CI] = 45.6 to 46.3) of individuals in this sample were users of optical correction for refractive error. Use of optical correction was more common among women than among men (54.8 and 41.9%, respectively) and especially among women aged 55 to 64 years (91.8%). Nonmanual (class I) workers were three times more likely to use optical correction than manual (class V) workers (odds ratio = 3.02; 95% CI = 2.82 to 3.24). Individuals in technical, administrative, or intellectual occupations were more likely to wear optical correction than unskilled professionals.

Conclusions The use of visual correction is more prevalent among women than among men, especially in older individuals. The use of optical correction is more common among more advantaged social groups and is associated with particular occupations.



UNESCO Chair Visual Health and Development, Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Terrassa, Barcelona, Spain (LG, AR); Department of Health, Autonomous Government of Catalonia, General Direction for Health Planning and Research, Barcelona, Spain (RT); and Directorate of Health, Asepeyo Prevention Society, Barcelona, Spain (EP).

Laura Guisasola UNESCO Chair Visual Health and Development Polytechnic University of Catalonia Violinista Vellsolà 37, Terrassa 08222 Barcelona, Spain e-mail:

© 2014 American Academy of Optometry