Projected number of Australians with visual impairment in 2000 and 2030

Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2000 Jun;28(3):143-5. doi: 10.1046/j.1442-9071.2000.00292.x.


This study aimed to project population-based prevalence data associated with visual impairment, in order to estimate the number of affected older Australians (aged 50 or older) in the years 2000 and 2030. We used data from the Blue Mountains Eye Study (BMES) and Melbourne Visual Impairment Project (MVIP), together with Australian Bureau of Statistics population projections. Similar definitions for moderate (6/24-6/60 visual acuity) and severe (< 6/60 visual acuity) visual impairment were used. Combining age-standardized data, we estimated that in the year 2000, 38 820 (0.73%) and 25590 (0.48%) Australians aged 50 years or older will have moderate and severe visual impairment, respectively. By 2030, these rates will have more than doubled, to an estimated 85910 (0.92%) and 57930 (0.62%) Australians with moderate and severe visual impairment, respectively. Women aged 50 years or older will have a 1.8-fold and four-fold risk, respectively, of moderate and severe visual impairment compared to men. Visual impairment will affect an increasing proportion of older Australians, Newer approaches to therapy, rehabilitation and community support for persons with visual impairment will be needed to meet this challenge.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Services Research / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Vision Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Visual Acuity