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JA Paczka, R Acuña-Maldonado, R Gómez-Carmona, A Avila-González, V Villar-Calvo; Prevalence of Blindness and Low Vision among Children in a Tertiary Center . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):2675.
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Purpose: Information regarding the prevalence of visual impairment among children is absent in Mexico and very scarce in Latin American nations. The primary aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of legal blindness and low vision in pediatric patients visiting a large multi-specialty center in Mexico. Method: 571 medical records of patients who were seen for the first time in the Pediatric Ophthalmology Service at Centro Medico de Occidente-IMSS from January 1 through July 31, 2001, were retrospectively reviewed. Strict definitions of blindness and low vision were used. Results: Overall, patients had a mean age of 6.2 +/- 5.3 years. Prevalence values of bilateral legal blindness, unilateral blindness, bilateral low vision, and unilateral low vision were 3.1%, 8.4%, 1.6%, and 2.8%, respectively. Using an anatomic classification of blindness (both bilateral and unilateral), retinal diseases (n=32) were predominant, and were followed by conditions affecting the optic nerve (n=15), lens (n=12), and, cornea (n=8). Conclusion: This hospital-based study suggest that retinal diseases cause a considerable proportion of blindness in pediatric patients visiting a Mexican referral center. A population-based survey in Mexico is warranted in order to establish more reliable epidemiological figures of visual impairment among children.
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