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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 66  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 951-956

Prevalence and causes of visual impairment among adults aged 15–49 years in a rural area of north India - A population-based study


1 Centre for Community Medicine, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Community Ophthalmology, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Ophthalmology, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, New Delhi, India
4 Department of Biostatistics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Sumit Malhotra
Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_1333_17

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Purpose: Very few studies have been conducted in India and other parts of the world on visual impairment among individuals aged 15–49 years. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence, causes, and associated factors of visual impairment among adults aged 15–49 years in a rural population of Jhajjar district, Haryana, north India. Methods: A population-based cross-sectional study was conducted in two blocks of Jhajjar district. A total of 34 villages were selected using probability proportionate to size sampling method. Adults aged 15–49 years were selected using compact segment cluster sampling approach. As part of the house-to-house survey, presenting visual acuity using screening chart corresponding to five “E” 6/12 optotypes was measured along with collection of other demographic details. The optometrists performed detailed eye assessment including repeat measurement of visual acuity using retro-illuminated conventional logMAR tumbling “E” charts, torch light examination, and non-cycloplegic refraction at a clinic site within the village to ascertain visual impairment and its cause. Results: Of 5,470 enumerated adults, 5,117 (94%) completed all study procedures. The age- and sex-adjusted prevalence of visual impairment was found to be 1.85% [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.48, 2.23] and blindness was 0.09% (95% CI: 0.01, 0.18). The age- and sex-adjusted prevalence of unilateral visual impairment was 1.11% (95% CI: 0.81, 1.41). Uncorrected refractive errors (84%) contributed maximum to visual impairment in this age group. The visual impairment in study participants was found to be associated with age and educational status. Conclusion: At the community level, uncorrected refractive errors contribute largely to visual impairment in the age group of 15–49 years.


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