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L. Xu, Q. Liang, S. Wang; Cataract Prevalence and Surgery Burden in Rural Beijing: a Report from Screening and Rehabilitation Project of Cataract. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):3249.
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To investigate the prevalence and surgery burden of 3,500,000 rural citizens in greater Beijing.
A cross-sectional screening in high risk populations with multi-layer methods. A preliminary visual acuity (VA) test within village was held as the first step. VA was examined in all local residents with age > 55 years by local health carers who had been trained beforehand. Those with habitual VA <0.3 in either eye were transferred to the local centers to have further eye examinations including both corneal and fundus digital photography. All the photos were transferred to reading center via internet and read by experienced ophthalmologists with established criteria for cataract surgery. An evaluation based on the optic nerve head and peripapillary vessel visibilities was used to grade cataract and identify cataract surgery.
A total of 669,986 people out of the 3500000 residents were eligible. 562,788 were examined with a participating rate of 84.0%. Within them, 35.1% had mild or moderate cataract, 14.2% were identified to be in the need of phacoemulsification, and 8.8% were pseudophakia. So far, 291 eligible patients got extra-capsular cataract extraction and intraocular lens implantation surgeries, 70% of which had a visual acuity ≥ 0.5 post operations.
The multi-layer screening in high risk population increased the coverage of cataract identification and the cataract surgical rate. A large imaging database set would be helpful to further eye care. It is a cost-effective way for blindness prevention in rural areas in China, where primary care is not developed.
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