Aim: To determine sex inequalities in cataract blindness and surgical services in south India.
Methods: Details of lens status and cataract surgery were recorded for subjects aged 50 years and older identified through cluster sampling as part of population based cross sectional assessments of cataract blindness and surgical outcomes in three districts of south India.
Results: Females were less likely to be operated on for cataract (adjusted OR 0.71, 95% CI: 0.57 to 0.87) although the cataract blindness burden was higher for females (p<0.001). Literacy of the subject was a major predictor for being operated on for cataract. Achieving equal surgical coverage between sexes will have resulted in an additional 25.3% reduction of cataract blindness.
Conclusions: Eye care programmes in this population need to be sensitised to the substantial reduction in blindness possible by achieving equal surgical coverage between sexes.