June 2020
Volume 61, Issue 7
Free
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2020
Global Prevalence of Blindness and Distance and Near Vision Impairment in 2020: progress towards the Vision 2020 targets and what the future holds.
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Rupert R A Bourne
    Vision & Eye Research Institute, Anglia Ruskin University, Hartford, ENGLAND, United Kingdom
    Cambridge Eye Research Centre, Cambridge University Hospital, United Kingdom
  • Jaimie Adelson
    Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States
  • Seth Flaxman
    Department of Mathematics and Data Science Institute, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom
  • Paul Briant
    Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States
  • Michele Bottone
    Department of Mathematics and Data Science Institute, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom
  • Theo Vos
    Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States
  • Kovin Naidoo
    African Vision Research Institute, University of Kwazulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
    School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales , Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Tasanee Braithwaite
    Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, United Kingdom
  • Maria Cicinelli
    San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy
  • Jost Jonas
    Department of Ophthalmology, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
  • Hans Limburg
    Health Information Services, Grootebroek, Netherlands
  • Serge Resnikoff
    Brien Holden Vision Institute, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales , Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Alex Silvester
    St Pauls Eye Unit, Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • Vinay Nangia
    Suraj Eye Institute, Nagpur, India
  • Hugh R Taylor
    Melbourne School of Population Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Rupert Bourne, None; Jaimie Adelson, None; Seth Flaxman, None; Paul Briant, None; Michele Bottone, None; Theo Vos, None; Kovin Naidoo, Essilor (E); Tasanee Braithwaite, None; Maria Cicinelli, None; Jost Jonas, None; Hans Limburg, None; Serge Resnikoff, None; Alex Silvester, None; Vinay Nangia, None; Hugh Taylor, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  Brien Holden Vision Institute, Fondation Thea, Lions Clubs International Foundation, The Fred Hollows Foundation, Sightsavers, University of Heidelberg, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2020, Vol.61, 2317. doi:
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      Rupert R A Bourne, Jaimie Adelson, Seth Flaxman, Paul Briant, Michele Bottone, Theo Vos, Kovin Naidoo, Tasanee Braithwaite, Maria Cicinelli, Jost Jonas, Hans Limburg, Serge Resnikoff, Alex Silvester, Vinay Nangia, Hugh R Taylor; Global Prevalence of Blindness and Distance and Near Vision Impairment in 2020: progress towards the Vision 2020 targets and what the future holds.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(7):2317.

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

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Abstract

Purpose : To estimate global and regional prevalence estimates for blindness and vision impairment (VI) that are important for development of public health policies.

Methods : A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted of population-based datasets relevant to global VI and blindness from 1980. Hierarchical models were fitted to estimate- by age, country, and year- the 2020 prevalence of (1) mild VI (presenting visual acuity worse than 6/12 to 6/18 inclusive), moderate to severe VI (MSVI; presenting visual acuity worse than 6/18 to 3/60 inclusive), and blindness (presenting visual acuity worse than 3/60); and (2) functional presbyopia (defined as presenting near vision worse than N6 or N8 at 40cm where best-corrected distance visual acuity was better than 6/12). Ninety-five percent uncertainty intervals (UI) were calculated.

Results : Globally, among 7.79 billion people living in 2020, an estimated 49.1 million (95% UI: 39.0-61.3 million; 54% female) were blind (0.62%; 95% UI:0.49%-0.78%), 221.4 million (95% UI: 197.7-247.0 million) people (2.81%; 95% UI:2.51%-3.13%; 55% female) had moderate VI, 33.6 million (95% UI: 29.7-38.0 million) people (0.43%; 95% UI:0.38%-0.48%; 57% female) had severe VI. The estimated number of blind persons increased (by 42.8%) from 34.4 million in 1990 to 49.1 million in 2020 yet global all-age age-standardised prevalence of blindness decreased between 1990 (0.85%; 95% UI:0.68%-1.1%) and 2019 (0.60%; 95% UI:0.48%-0.75%). Greatest reductions were observed in South Asia (-49%) and North Africa and Middle East (-43%) with the smallest changes in high income regions.

Conclusions : There is an ongoing reduction in the age-standardised prevalence of blindness and VI, yet the growth and ageing of the world’s population is causing a substantial increase in number of people affected. Notable inter-regional and gender inequalities exist which highlight the need to scale up vision impairment alleviation efforts at all levels.

This is a 2020 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.

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