May 2007
Volume 48, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2007
Predictors of Visual Impairment in an Urban Malay Population: The Singapore Malay Eye Study (SiMES)
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • A. Idris
    Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singaport, Singapore
  • C. Fong
    Epidemiology & Disease Control Division, Ministry of Health, Singapore, SINGAPORE, Singapore
  • W. Wong
    Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore, Singapore
  • A. Foong
    Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore, Singapore
  • S.-M. Saw
    Department of Community, Occupational and Family Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore
  • M. Sander
    Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore, Singapore
  • A. Tin
    Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore, Singapore
  • D. T. H. Tan
    Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore, Singapore
  • T. Wong
    Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships A. Idris, None; C. Fong, None; W. Wong, None; A. Foong, None; S. Saw, None; M. Sander, None; A. Tin, None; D.T.H. Tan, None; T. Wong, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support National Medical Research Council Grants No 0796/2003 and Biomedical Research Council Grant No 501/1/25-5
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2007, Vol.48, 319. doi:
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      A. Idris, C. Fong, W. Wong, A. Foong, S.-M. Saw, M. Sander, A. Tin, D. T. H. Tan, T. Wong; Predictors of Visual Impairment in an Urban Malay Population: The Singapore Malay Eye Study (SiMES). Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):319.

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

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Purpose:: To describe predictors of visual impairment in an urban Malay adult population in Singapore.

Methods:: A population-based, cross-sectional study of 3,280 (78.7%) Malay persons aged 40-80 years residing in Singapore. An age-stratified random sample of 5,600 Malay names residing in south-western Singapore (1,400 from each age decade) was selected from a national database. Participants had a standardized interview and examination at a centralized clinic . Presenting and best-corrected LogMAR visual acuity (VA) was measured and visual impairment was defined as VA<0.30 (20/40) and >1.00 (20/200).

Results:: Of the 3,273 with presenting VA data, 790 (24.1%) who were visually impaired. Older age was a predictor of presenting visual impairment (odds ratio [OR] 2.3, 95% CI 2.1, 2.5, per decade age increase). While controlling for age, women were twice as likely to be visually impaired than men (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.6, 2.4). While controlling for age and gender, visual impairment was associated with place of birth (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.1, 2.8, Indonesia vs Singapore), education (OR, 2.8, 95% CI 2.0, 3.9, formal education vs high school/tertiary education), occupation (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.3, 3.7, retired/unemployed vs professional occupation), housing type (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.3, 2.4, 1-2 public flats vs 5 room flats/private housing), smoking status (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.1, 1.9, current vs never smokers), systolic blood pressure (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.3, 2.2 4th vs 1st quartile), body mass index (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.2, 2.0, 1st vs 4th quartile ) and serum creatinine levels (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.0, 1.8). Of the 3269 with best-corrected VA data, 263 (8.0%) were visually impaired. Predictors of visual impairment after best correction were similar.

Conclusions:: In this Singapore Malay population, older age, female gender, lower socio-economic status, lower body mass index, and cigarette smoking were predictors of visual impairment

Keywords: clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: biostatistics/epidemiology methodology • visual impairment: neuro-ophthalmological disease • visual acuity 

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