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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 61  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 53-58

The British Asian Community Eye Study: Outline of results on the prevalence of eye disease in British Asians with origins from the Indian subcontinent

1 Queens Hospital, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, London, United Kingdom
2 Glaucoma Research Unit, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre for Ophthalmology at Moorfields Eye Hospital Foundation NHS Trust and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, London, United Kingdom
3 Research and Development, Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, United Kingdom
4 Research and Development, Moorfields Eye Hospital; London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Rizwan Malik
Glaucoma Research Unit, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre for Ophthalmology at Moorfields Eye Hospital Foundation NHS Trust and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, London
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: This study was supported by the Thomas Pocklington Trust., Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0301-4738.107191

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Background: Asians from the Indian Subcontinent form the largest ethnic minority in the United Kingdom. Data on the prevalence of visually-impairing eye conditions in this population are vital for planning eye health care services. Materials and Methods: This survey was based in the two London boroughs with the largest Asian populations. Subjects originating from the Indian Subcontinent were identified from GP practice records. All subjects were asked about demographic details and were given a full ophthalmological examination. The severity of cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related maculopathy was recorded. Blindness was defined as logMAR visual acuity of 0.99 (Snellen equivalence 20/200 in the better eye) or worse, 'low vision' was defined as Snellen equivalence of 20/63 or worse (logMAR 0.5 or higher), and visual impairment was defined as visual acuity worse than 20/40. Results: The median age was 56 years. Two hundred and eighty four subjects did not attend for eye examination. Of the 922 examined, 128 subjects (13.9%) were 'visually impaired,' 39 (4.2%) had 'low vision,' and 6 (0.7%) were bilaterally blind. The overall prevalence of cataract, open-angle glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy were 77%, 1.0%, 8.7%, and 8.8%, respectively. Conclusion: Visual impairment rates amongst Asians seem to be similar to Caucasian populations in the UK. The prevalence of cataract and diabetic retinopathy is higher, while the risk of ARMD and OAG are comparable. In view of the high cataract prevalence, a more detailed assessment of the visual profile and factors limiting healthcare accessibility in this community are needed.

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