Abstract #82771 Published in IGR 20-4

The Frequency and Causes of Blindness in a Rural Region of Central Anatolia of Turkey

Mirza E; Mirza GD; Oltulu R; Okka M; Ozkagnici A
The Eurasian journal of medicine 2019; 51: 242-246

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to evaluate the frequency and primary causes of blindness in adults aged 18 years and more in Sarıkaya rural region of Yozgat, Turkey, to contribute to the epidemiologic information about blindness in our country. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients who were examined between October 2016 and March 2017 in Sarıkaya State Hospital, Clinic of Ophthalmology, were prospectively investigated. Demographic and ophthalmic examination data, presented visual acuities (VA), primary causes of blindness, and monocular blindness were recorded. Blindness was defined as presented visual acuities (VA) definition of World Health Organization criteria. RESULTS: A total of 3423 participants, aged 18-96 years, were examined. Among them, 1887 participants (55%) were female and 1536 (45%) were male. The frequency of blindness was 1.5% (95% CI: 1.1%-2.0%); and cataract was the primary cause of blindness (42%). Age-related macular degeneration (21%) and uncorrected refractive error (13%) were the next main causes of blindness. The frequency of monocular blindness was 4% (95% CI: 3.8%-5.2%), and cataract (27%) followed by phthisis bulbi/evisceration (13%) and glaucoma (12%) were the leading causes of monocular blindness. CONCLUSION: In this rural region of Central Anatolia, the primary cause of blindness and monocular blindness was an unoperated cataract. The patterns of age-specific causes of blindness are variable, but most of them are avoidable or treatable. Thus, awareness should be increased in societies, and people should be prevented from blindness with health-care programs in rural regions of developing countries.

Department of Ophthalmology, University of Health Sciences, Konya Training and Research Hospital, Konya, Turkey.

Full article


1.1 Epidemiology (Part of: 1 General aspects)
1.5 Glaucomas as cause of blindness (Part of: 1 General aspects)

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