Gender inequality in vision loss and eye diseases: Evidence from the Sultanate of Oman

Khandekar, Rajiv; Mohammed, A. J.
December 2009
Indian Journal of Ophthalmology;Dec2009, Vol. 57 Issue 6, p443
Academic Journal
Purpose: The data from surveys of vision loss and monitoring of services were used to assess changes in gender inequality in Oman. Study Design: Retrospective review of data collection instruments. Materials and Method: The data sets of 12 years between 1996 and 2007 were abstracted to assess the gender equality for vision loss, eye disease prevalence, and service use. They included two surveys (1996 and 2005), Health Information from eye units (1998 and 2007), and eye screening in schools. Results: In 1996, the prevalence of bilateral blindness in = 40 years of age was higher in females [Odd's Ratio (OR) = 0.36 (95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.24 - 0.53)]. Gender differences in the prevalence of cataract [OR = 0.82 (95% CI 0.63 - 1.03)] were not significant while trachomatous trichaisis (TT) was less in males [OR = 0.33 (95% CI 0.22-0.48)]. In 2005, gender differences in the prevalence of bilateral blindness [OR = 0.97 (95% CI 0.71 - 1.34)] and TT [OR = 0.66 (95% CI 0.42- 1.04)] were not statistically significant. But males were associated with higher prevalence of cataract [OR = 1.26 (95% CI 1.00 - 1.59)]. Surgery rates for cataract, glaucoma and TT were not different by gender. More male compared to female patients with diabetic retinopathy were treated. Myopia was significantly higher in girls. Compliance of spectacle wear was higher in girls. Conclusions: Gender inequality for eye care seems to have reduced in the last 10 years in Oman. However, apart from TT and glaucoma patients the difference in service utilization by gender was not statistically significant.


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