September 2016
Volume 57, Issue 12
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
Six-Year Incidence of Visual Impairment and Blindness in Adult Malays: The Singapore Malay Eye Study (SIMES)
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Pok Chien Tan
    Ophthalmology, Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore, Singapore
  • Yih Chung Tham
    Ophthalmology, Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore, Singapore
  • Shu-Pei Tan
    Ophthalmology, Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore, Singapore
  • Seang-Mei Saw
    Ophthalmology, Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore, Singapore
    Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore
  • Tin Aung
    Ophthalmology, Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore, Singapore
    Singapore National Eye Centre, Singapore, Singapore
  • Tien Yin Wong
    Ophthalmology, Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore, Singapore
    Singapore National Eye Centre, Singapore, Singapore
  • Ching-Yu Cheng
    Ophthalmology, Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore, Singapore
    Academic Medicine Research Institute, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore, Singapore
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Pok Chien Tan, None; Yih Chung Tham, None; Shu-Pei Tan, None; Seang-Mei Saw, None; Tin Aung, None; Tien Yin Wong, None; Ching-Yu Cheng, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  Grants 0796/2003, 0863/2004, and CSI/0002/2005 from the National Medical Research Council, Grant 501/1/25-5 from the Biomedical Research Council, the Singapore Tissue Network, and the Ministry of Health, Singapore.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science September 2016, Vol.57, 1572. doi:
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      Pok Chien Tan, Yih Chung Tham, Shu-Pei Tan, Seang-Mei Saw, Tin Aung, Tien Yin Wong, Ching-Yu Cheng; Six-Year Incidence of Visual Impairment and Blindness in Adult Malays: The Singapore Malay Eye Study (SIMES). Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):1572.

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      © 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

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Abstract

Purpose : To describe the 6-year cumulative incidence of visual impairment (VI) and blindness and its associated risk factors in an adult Malay population in Singapore.

Methods : The Singapore Malay Eye Study is a population-based study of Malay adults, aged 40 to 81 years, who had baseline examination conducted in 2004, followed by a 6-year follow up examination. Participants underwent standardized and comprehensive ophthalmic examination including measurement of best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) using the standard Early Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy Study protocol. Using the United States definitions, incident VI and blindness were defined as 1) baseline BCVA ≥20/40 and a follow-up BCVA <20/40 to 20/200 in the better-seeing eye and 2) baseline BCVA >20/200 and a follow-up BCVA ≤20/200 in the better-seeing eye, respectively. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine the risk factors associated with incident VI or blindness.

Results : 2,636 participants who were examined at baseline were eligible for follow-up. Among them, 1901 (72.1%) attended the follow-up examination. 15 participants were excluded due to non-available BCVA measurements. Of the remaining 1886 participants, 4 subjects had blindness at baseline and 82 had VI at baseline. The 6-year incidence of best-corrected VI and blindness were 6% (108 out of 1800 participants) and 0.48% (9 out of 1882 participants) respectively. Older age (per decade, odds ratio [OR] 2.67, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.05 to 3.47, p<0.001) and lower socioeconomic status (OR 3.47, 95% CI 2.13 to 5.66, p<0.001) at baseline were more likely to develop best-corrected VI or blindness. Gender, hypertension, and diabetes were not associated with incident best-corrected VI or blindness.

Conclusions : In adult Malays in Singapore, the 6-year cumulative incidence of best-corrected VI and blindness were 6% and 0.48% respectively. We found age and low socioeconomic status to be significant risk factors in the development of VI and blindness. Low socioeconomic status may relate to poor accessibility to healthcare, as well as the lack of awareness of health promotion and disease prevention. In view of the trend towards population aging in Singapore, the incidence of VI and blindness can be expected to rise, indicating a public health problem.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.

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