Purpose: To estimate the prevalence and distribution of blindness and low vision in Northern China.
Design: Population-based cohort study.
Methods: The Beijing Eye Study included 4438 subjects with an age of 40+ years. Mean age was 56.2 +/- 10.6 years (range, 40 to 101 years).
Results: Forty-three (1.0%) individuals had low vision (<20/60 and >/=20/400 best-corrected vision), and 17 (0.4%) individuals were blind (best-corrected visual acuity in the better-seeing eye <20/400). Low vision/blindness were significantly associated with age (P < .001), myopic refractive error (P < .001), and level of educational background (P = .035). It was not associated with gender (P = .76) and rural vs urban area (P = .88).
Conclusions: Blindness or low vision affects approximately one in 100 Chinese older than 40 years. An estimated 4.1 million Chinese older than 40 years have low vision, and an estimated 1.6 million Chinese older than 40 years are blind.