Faculty Articles

Title

Prevalence and causes of blindness and vision impairment: Magnitude, temporal trends and projections in South and Central Asia

Volume

103

Issue

7

Publication Date / Copyright Date

7-1-2019

First Page

871

Last Page

877

Publisher

BMJ Publishing Group

DOI Number

10.1136/bjophthalmol-2018-312292

Abstract

Background To assess prevalence and causes of vision loss in Central and South Asia. Methods A systematic review of medical literature assessed the prevalence of blindness (presenting visual acuity<3/60 in the better eye), moderate and severe vision impairment (MSVI; presenting visual acuity <6/18 but ≥3/60) and mild vision impairment (MVI; presenting visual acuity <6/12 and ≥6/18) in Central and South Asia for 1990, 2010, 2015 and 2020. Results In Central and South Asia combined, age-standardised prevalences of blindness, MSVI and MVI in 2015 were for men and women aged 50+years, 3.72% (80% uncertainty interval (UI): 1.39-6.75) and 4.00% (80% UI: 1.41-7.39), 16.33% (80% UI: 8.55-25.47) and 17.65% (80% UI: 9.00-27.62), 11.70% (80% UI: 4.70-20.32) and 12.25% (80% UI:4.86-21.30), respectively, with a significant decrease in the study period for both gender. In South Asia in 2015, 11.76 million individuals (32.65% of the global blindness figure) were blind and 61.19 million individuals (28.3% of the global total) had MSVI. From 1990 to 2015, cataract (accounting for 36.58% of all cases with blindness in 2015) was the most common cause of blindness, followed by undercorrected refractive error (36.43%), glaucoma (5.81%), age-related macular degeneration (2.44%), corneal diseases (2.43%), diabetic retinopathy (0.16%) and trachoma (0.04%). For MSVI in South Asia 2015, most common causes were undercorrected refractive error (accounting for 66.39% of all cases with MSVI), followed by cataract (23.62%), age-related macular degeneration (1.31%) and glaucoma (1.09%). Conclusions One-third of the global blind resided in South Asia in 2015, although the age-standardised prevalence of blindness and MSVI decreased significantly between 1990 and 2015.

Disciplines

Optometry

Keywords

blindness, cataract, epidemiology, glaucoma, global burden of disease study, macular degeneration, refractive error, vision impairment, vision loss, vision loss expert group

Peer Reviewed

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