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Jose D. Morales, Joaquin Martinez, Lihteh Wu; Blindness and Visual Impairment in the Costa Rican Pediatric Population. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):4222.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To compare the main causes of severe visual impairment and blindness in children attending schools for the visually disabled in Costa Rica in the years 2005 and 2010.
A review of student records of the various centers for the disabled, throughout the country was performed in years 2005 and 2010. Ocular pathology found was classified according to the World Health Organization Prevention of Blindness (WHO/PBL) standard methodology.
During the year 2005 and 2010 we made a collection of data in different schools for the visually disabled in the country. A total of 684 children were included in the study 543 in 2005 and 141 in the months of October and November 2010. In the year 2005 the predominant pathologies were retinal (25%), refractive error (20%), cortical blindness (17%),whole globe (9%).and optic nerve (4%). In the year 2010 the most frequent diseases found were those of the retina (33%), refractive errors (8%), cortical blindness (14%) and optic nerve (14%). In both years the most frequent diseases found were of retinal origin (25% and 33% respectively). Refractive errors decreased substantially from 20% in 2005 to 8% in 2010. Optic nerve diseases increased from 4% to 14%. Others remain with little or no variation. With regard to the cause of blindness, perinatal/neonatal factors accounted for 27% in 2005 and 29% in 2010, hereditary disease for 21% and 20% respectively. Intrauterine factors caused 3 % versus 8%.
The majority of the causes of blindness in children in Costa Rica are of congenital and genetic origin, therefore difficult to prevent and treat. Retinal diseases remain the major cause of pediatric blindness in Costa Rica.
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