June 2017
Volume 58, Issue 8
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2017
Population-Based Assessment of Prevalence and Causes of Visual Impairment in the State of Tripura, India
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Srinivas Marmamula
    LVPEI, Wellcome Trust / India Alliance Research Fellow, Hyderabad, India
  • Rohit Chandramohan Khanna
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Srinivas Marmamula, None; Rohit Khanna, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2017, Vol.58, 2200. doi:
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      Srinivas Marmamula, Rohit Chandramohan Khanna; Population-Based Assessment of Prevalence and Causes of Visual Impairment in the State of Tripura, India. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):2200.

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

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Purpose : Visual impairment (VI) is a public health challenge that affects millions of people worldwide. Reliable data are required for planning and monitoring of eye care service that address visual impairment. The World Health Organization’s recent report on ‘Universal Eye Health: A global action plan 2014-2019’ highlights the need for regional surveys to generate evidence on the magnitude and causes of VI. We report the prevalence and causes of VI in a population aged 40 years and older from a state-wide study conducted in Tripura, India.

Methods : A population cross-sectional study was undertaken where a sample of 4500 participants was selected using cluster random sampling methodology. A team comprising an optometrist and field workers visited the households and conducted the eye examination. Presenting, pinhole and aided visual acuity were assessed. The anterior segment was examined using a torch light. Lens was examined using distant direct ophthalmoscopy method in a semi-dark room. Visual impairment (VI) was defined as presenting visual acuity worse than 6/18 in the better eye and it included moderate visual impairment (worse than 6/18 to 6/60) and blindness (worse than 6/60).

Results : In all, 4109/4500 subjects were examined from 90 study clusters spread across the state. Among those examined, 49% (n=2017) were men and 31.6% (n=1627) had no education. About 19.5% (n=799) were using spectacles at the time of examination. The overall prevalence of visual impairment was 9.8% (95% CI: 8.9 – 10.7; n=402). The prevalence of moderate visual impairment was 7.0% (95% CI: 6.2 – 7.8; n=286) and blindness was 2.8% (95% CI: 2.3 – 3.4; n=116). Cataract (54.5%) was the leading cause of VI followed by uncorrected refractive errors (40.5%). On applying multiple regression analysis, the odds of having of VI were higher in older age groups and among women.

Conclusions : Visual Impairment is common affecting ten out of every hundred people aged 40 years or older in the state of Tripura. Over 90% of which is due to avoidable causes such as cataract and refractive errors. Provision of cataract surgery and spectacles may result in substantial reduction in visual impairment in Tripura.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.


Visual acuity assessment

Visual acuity assessment


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