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Lanhua Wang, Wenyong Huang, Miao He, Yingfeng Zheng, Shengsong Huang, Bin Liu, Ling Jin, Nathan G. Congdon, Mingguang He; Causes and Five-Year Incidence of Blindness and Visual Impairment in Urban Southern China: The Liwan Eye Study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(6):4117-4121. doi: 10.1167/iovs.13-11911.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
We determined the causes and five-year incidence of blindness and visual impairment (VI) in an adult, urban Chinese population.
Participants underwent a comprehensive eye examination at baseline in 2003 and then five years later. The World Health Organization (WHO) and United States (US) definitions were used to define incident blindness (WHO visual acuity [VA] < 20/400 in the better-seeing eye, US VA ≤ 20/200) and incident VI (WHO VA < 20/60–20/400, US VA < 20/40–>20/200).
Among 1405 baseline participants, 924 (75%) of 1232 survivors (87.7%) participated in the 5-year follow-up. The incidences of VI and blindness were 5.38% (95% confidence interval [CI] 3.99% ∼ 7.07%) and 0.33% (95% CI 0.07% ∼ 0.95%), respectively, based on the WHO definition, and 9.85% (95% CI 7.96% ∼ 12.0%) and 1.42% (95% CI 0.76% ∼ 2.41%), respectively, based on the US definition. Incidence of blindness and VI (WHO definition) increased significantly with older age (P < 0.001) and poorer baseline presenting VA in the worse-seeing eye (P < 0.001). The leading cause of best-corrected VI (WHO definition) was cataract (64.6%), whereas the main causes of presenting VI were refractive error (40.4%) and cataract (38.4%).
The incidence of VI in urban Southern China is high. The major causes are unoperated cataract and undercorrected refractive error, reflecting the need for better surgical and refractive care, even in this urban setting.
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