Changing trends in the prevalence of blindness and visual impairment in a rural district of India: Systematic observations over a decade

Khanna, Rohit C.; Marmamula, Srinivas; Krishnaiah, Sannapaneni; Giridhar, Pyda; Chakrabarti, Subhabrata; Rao, Gullapalli N.
October 2012
Indian Journal of Ophthalmology;Oct2012, Vol. 60 Issue 5, p492
Academic Journal
Context: Globally, limited data are available on changing trends of blindness from a single region. Aims: To report the changing trends in the prevalence of blindness, visual impairment (VI), and visual outcomes of cataract surgery in a rural district of Andhra Pradesh, India, over period of one decade. Settings and Design: Rural setting; cross-sectional study. Materials and Methods: Using a validated Rapid Assessment of Cataract Surgical Services (RACSS) method, population-based, cross-sectional survey was done in a rural district in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. Two-stage sampling procedure was used to select participants ≥50 years of age. Further, a comparative analysis was done with participants ≥50 years from the previously concluded Andhra Pradesh Eye Disease Study (APEDS) study, who belonged to the same district. Statistical Analysis: Done using 11th version of Stata. Results: Using RACSS, 2160/2300 (93.9%) participants were examined as compared with the APEDS dataset (n=521). Age and sex adjusted prevalence of blindness in RACSS and APEDS was 8% (95% CI, 6.9-9.1%) and 11% (95% CI, 8.3-13.7%), while that of VI was 13.6% (95% CI, 12.2-15.1%) and 40.3% (95% CI, 36.1-44.5%), respectively. Cataract was the major cause of blindness in both the studies. There was a significant reduction in blindness following cataract surgery as observed through RACSS (17.3%; 95% CI, 13.5-21.8%) compared with APEDS (34%; 95% CI, 20.9-49.3%). Conclusion: There was a significant reduction in prevalence of blindness and VI in this rural district of India over a decade.


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