April 2010
Volume 51, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2010
Prevalence and Causes of Visual Disability in the Eastern China
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • J. Wang
    Ophthalmology, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
  • Y. Gu
    Ophthalmology, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
  • Y. Chen
    Zhejiang Disabled Person's Federation, Hangzhou, China
  • W. Zhou
    Zhejiang Provincial Bureau of Statistics, Hangzhou, China
  • G.-S. Ying
    Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  J. Wang, None; Y. Gu, None; Y. Chen, None; W. Zhou, None; G.-S. Ying, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  grant from science and technology department of Zhejiang province(No 2009C03010-2) and the health bureau of Zhejiang province (NO.WKJ2009-2-020)
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2010, Vol.51, 131. doi:
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      J. Wang, Y. Gu, Y. Chen, W. Zhou, G.-S. Ying; Prevalence and Causes of Visual Disability in the Eastern China. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):131.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose: : To assess the prevalence and causes of visual disability in urban and rural area of the eastern China.

Methods: : As part of the 2nd National Survey on the Disabilities in P.R.China, a population-based, cross-sectional study were conducted between 2006-2007 in Zhejiang Province of eastern China (with a total population of 3.12 million). Random clustered samples of 95392 residents(children and adults)were interviewed by trained eye professionals about their vision health, and those reported with vision problems were referred for the detailed ocular examinations by ophthalmologists including age-appropriate tests of visual acuity (VA), visual field, and anterior/posterior segment examinations etc.. Vision disabilities were defined as VA<20/60 following the definitions of modified World Health Organization (WHO), including low vision (VA<20/60 but ≥20/400) and blindness (VA <20/400). Principal cause of visual disability was determined by ophthalmologists.

Results: : Among 95392 subject studied, 1115 subjects were identified with visual disabilities including 350 with blindness and 765 with low vision. The prevalence of visual disability was 1.17% (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.11%-1.23%), representing 0.37% (95% CI: 0.34%-0.40%) with blindness and 0.80% (95% CI: 0.76% - 0.85%) with low vision. The principal causes of visual disability were: cataract (62.2%), retinal disease (13.9%), hereditary/congenital disease (5.91%), cornea disease (4.5%), optic nerve disease (3.9%), ametropia (3.4%), glaucoma (2.7%), and others (3.49%). Prevalence rate is higher in rural people (1.27%, 95% CI: 1.20% - 1.35%) than urban people (0.96%, 95% CI: 0.87% - 1.05%).

Conclusions: : Majority of visual disabilities in eastern China are caused by senile eye diseases and are treatable.

Keywords: clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: prevalence/incidence 

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