Changing trends in the prevalence of blindness and visual impairment in a rural district of India: systematic observations over a decade

Indian J Ophthalmol. 2012 Sep-Oct;60(5):492-7. doi: 10.4103/0301-4738.100560.


Context : Globally, limited data are available on changing trends of blindness from a single region. Aims : To report the changing trends in the prevalence of blindness, visual impairment (VI), and visual outcomes of cataract surgery in a rural district of Andhra Pradesh, India, over period of one decade. Settings and Design : Rural setting; cross-sectional study. Materials and Methods : Using a validated Rapid Assessment of Cataract Surgical Services (RACSS) method, population-based, cross-sectional survey was done in a rural district in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. Two-stage sampling procedure was used to select participants ≥50 years of age. Further, a comparative analysis was done with participants ≥50 years from the previously concluded Andhra Pradesh Eye Disease Study (APEDS) study, who belonged to the same district. Statistical Analysis : Done using 11 th version of Stata. Results : Using RACSS, 2160/2300 (93.9%) participants were examined as compared with the APEDS dataset (n=521). Age and sex adjusted prevalence of blindness in RACSS and APEDS was 8% (95% CI, 6.9-9.1%) and 11% (95% CI, 8.3-13.7%), while that of VI was 13.6% (95% CI, 12.2-15.1%) and 40.3% (95% CI, 36.1-44.5%), respectively. Cataract was the major cause of blindness in both the studies. There was a significant reduction in blindness following cataract surgery as observed through RACSS (17.3%; 95% CI, 13.5-21.8%) compared with APEDS (34%; 95% CI, 20.9-49.3%). Conclusion : There was a significant reduction in prevalence of blindness and VI in this rural district of India over a decade.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Blindness / epidemiology*
  • Blindness / etiology
  • Blindness / prevention & control
  • Cataract / complications*
  • Cataract / epidemiology
  • Cataract Extraction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rural Population*
  • Sex Distribution
  • Visual Acuity