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Alon Skaat, Michael Kinori, Angela Chetrit, Ofra Kalter-Leibovici, Michael Belkin; Reduction in the Incidence of Blindness of all Major Causes in Israel. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):3176.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To evaluate time trends in the incidence and causes of new cases of blindness in Israel between 1999 and 2008.
Descriptive retrospective population-based study. Data was retrieved from the 1999 to 2008 annual reports of the National Registry of the Blind in Israel and retrospectively reviewed. During that decade, 19,862 inhabitants of Israel were newly registered as legally blind. Specific rates by age, gender,calendar year and cause of blindness were calculated. Total and cause-specific annual age-standardized rates were calculated as well. Findings were evaluated by the use of Poisson regression models.
The age-standardized rate of incidence of newly registered legal blindness at the end of the studied decade was half of that at the beginning, declining from 33.8/100,000 in 1999 to 16.6/100,000 in 2008. The decline was due to a decreased incidence of blindness from age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and cataract. There was no reduction in the incidence of blindness due to retinitis pigmentosa.
Contemporary interventions in ophthalmology combined with widely available universal free access to healthcare seem to be effective in causing a major reduction in the incidence of blindness.
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