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Yingfeng Zheng, Ching-Yu Cheng, Ecosse L. Lamoureux, Peggy P. C. Chiang, Ainur Rahman Anuar, Jie Jin Wang, Paul Mitchell, Seang-Mei Saw, Tien Y. Wong; How Much Eye Care Services Do Asian Populations Need? Projection from the Singapore Epidemiology of Eye Disease (SEED) Study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(3):2171-2177. doi: 10.1167/iovs.12-11393.
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We quantified and measured the needs for specific eye care services, including refractive services (RS), annual eye examination services (AES), cataract surgery services (CSS), and low vision services (LVS) in urban adult populations in Asia.
We conducted three population-based studies of Singapore-resident Chinese, Malays, and Indians aged ≥40 years to measure the proportion of people who needed specific eye care services.
Our data included 3353 Chinese, 3280 Malays, and 3400 Indians (participation rate 73.6%). Overall, approximately 70% of the populations needed eye care services and more than 30% had more than one need. The age-standardized proportion of people who need RS, AES, CSS, and LVS were 65.3%, 22.4%, 12.5%, and 0.5%, respectively, in Chinese. These figures were 49.6%, 33.6%, 11.0%, and 0.7%, respectively, in Malays, and 55.6%, 40.0%, 13.4%, and 0.8%, respectively, in Indians. With demographic change, our projection showed that the number of adults needing eye care services in urban Asia will grow from 437 million in 2010 to 827 million in 2030. Diabetes was a major cause of AES and a significant predictor for CSS, whereas higher blood pressure was a predictor for AES.
The needs for eye care services in an urban setting in Asia is high, particularly the needs for RS, AES, and CSS. The high prevalences of diabetes and hypertension are the driving factors underlying these needs. The burden of providing such eye care services highlights the need for new strategies for improvements in primary care and capacity building for eye care professionals other than ophthalmologists.
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