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Guilherme Eiichi da Silva Takitani, Arthur Fernandes, Monica Alves, Rafael Cunha de Almeida, Roberta Andrade Nascimento, Nathalia Yumi Valdrighi, Celso Takashi; FREQUENCY AND CAUSES OF VISUAL IMPAIRMENT IN THE XINGU INDIGENOUS PARK: PRELIMINARY FINDINGS FROM PROJETO OLHOS DO XINGU. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(9):4098.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The NGO Medicos da Floresta has been working to offer free eye health care for indigenous populations living in remote areas of Brazil through the Projeto Olhos do Xingu (Xingu’s Eye Project). Our purpose is to describe frequency and causes of visual impairment among the visited Xingu Indigenous Reserve tribes.
All residents of visited villages were invited for screening eye exams comprising visual acuity (VA), automated objective refraction and slit-lamp evaluation of anterior and posterior segments. Subjective refraction and biometry were performed if necessary. The main cause of visual impairment (VA 20/40 or worse) was determined for each eye. Glasses were provided and cataract/pterygium surgeries were scheduled as needed.
A total of 2099 individuals of 16 sites were examined so far. The overall population coverage was 57.0% (range from 47.5% in Moygu to 100% in Pavuru village). For older adults (age ≥45 years old), the frequency of presenting visual impairment in the better vision eye was 35.3% [95%CI: 30.2%-39.5%], and 28.5% [95%CI: 23.9%-33.1%] with best-correction (BCVA). For young adults (18 to 44 years old), the prevalence of presenting visual impairment in the better vision eye was 4.9% [95%CI: 3.3%-6.5%], and 2.1% [95%CI: 1.0%-3.3%] with BCVA. For children aged up to 17 years old, the frequency of presenting visual impairment was 1.2% [95%CI: 0.5%-2.3%], and 0.5% [95%CI: 0.2%-0.7%] with BCVA. The main cause of visual impairment in older adults was cataract (52.6%), while refractive error was the main cause for young adults (63.1%) and children (61.9%). Pterygium was found in 13.0% of the young adults and 26.1% of the older adults.
We found that most cases of visual impairment in the Xingu Indigenous Reserve are preventable and/or treatable, and prevention of blindness programs should target mainly cataract surgical services and spectacle provision. This project may represent an opportunity to provide proper eye evaluation, diagnosis and treatments in isolated communities with challenging access to eye care.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.
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