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

Citation:
Nangia V, Jonas JB, George R, Lingam V, Ellwein L, Cicinelli MV, Das A, Flaxman SR, Keeffe JE, Kempen JH, Leasher J, Limburg H, Naidoo K, Pesudovs K, Resnikoff S, Silvester AJ, Tahhan N, Taylor HR, Wong TY, Bourne RRA. "Prevalence and causes of blindness and vision impairment: magnitude, temporal trends and projections in South and Central Asia." Br J Ophthalmol. 2018.

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.

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