Nutritional ocular diseases and their association with diarrhoea in Matlab, Bangladesh

Br J Nutr. 1984 Jul;52(1):1-9. doi: 10.1079/bjn19840065.

Abstract

The prevalence of visual defects, especially from causes associated with nutritional deficiencies, and their relation to diarrhoea in rural Bangladesh have been studied. A trained physician and a team of health workers examined visual defects in 149 villages, with a total population of 182 976. According to WHO classification, night blindness (XN) was found in only 0.03 persons/1000 population and 0.04 were found to have conjunctival xerosis (XIA) and Bitot's spot (XIB). Corneal xerosis (X2, X3A, X3B) also was found in 0.04 persons/1000. Night blindness combined with conjunctival xerosis and Bitot's spot (XN + XIA + XIB) was present in 1.69 persons/1000 and all combined stages of active xerophthalmia were seen in 0.06 persons/1000. Xerophthalmia prevailed up to age 19 years. Males had a significantly higher (2.9) incidence/1000 than did females (1.2). The total rate of keratomalacial scar for all ages was 0.31 persons/1000, while corneal opacity from other causes was seen in 2.25 persons/1000 population. More than 2.06 persons/1000 had ocular manifestations of one or more vitamin A deficiencies, while 4.47 persons/1000 had other ocular diseases, except for cataracts. Only 12.0% of all the corneal scars (XS) were due to keratomalacia. History of night blindness is a good indicator of vitamin A deficiency. In 96% of cases, night blindness was associated with conjunctival xerosis and Bitot's spot (XN + XIA + XIB). The onset of approximately 86% of cases of corneal xerosis (X2, X3A, X3B) and night blindness associated with conjunctival xerosis and Bitot's spot (XN + XIA + XIB) was related to diarrhoea.

PIP: The prevalence of visual defects, especially from causes associated with nutritional deficiencies, and their relation to diarrhea in rual Bangladesh have been studied. A trained physician and a team of health workers examined visual defects in 149 villages with a total population of 182,976. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) classification, night blindness (XN) was found in only 0.03 persons/1000 population and 0.04 were found to have connjuctival xerosis (XIA) and Bitot's spot (XIB). Corneal xerosis (X2, X3A, X3B) also was found in 0.04 persons/1000. Night blindness combined with conjunctival xerosis and Bitot's spot (XN+XIA+XIB) was present in 1.69 persons/1000 and all combined stages of active xerophthalmia were seen in 0.06 persons/1000. Xerophthalmia prevailed up to age 19. Males had a signficantly higher (2.9) incidence/1000 than did females (1.2). The total rate of keratomalacial scar for all ages was 0.31 persons/1000, while corneal opacity from other causes was seen in 2.25 persons/1000 population. More than 2.06 persons/1000 had ocular manifestations of 1 or more vitamin A deficiencies, while 4.47 persons/1000 had other ocular disease except for cataracts. Only 12.0% of all corneal scars (XS) were due to keratomalacia. A history of XN is a good indicator of vitamin A deficiency. In 96% of the cases, XN was associated with XIA and XIB. The onset of about 86% of cases of corneal xeroses (X2, X3A, X3B) and XN associated with XIA and XIB was related to diarrhea.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bangladesh
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Conjunctival Diseases / epidemiology
  • Corneal Opacity / epidemiology
  • Corneal Opacity / etiology
  • Diarrhea / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Night Blindness / epidemiology
  • Sex Factors
  • Xerophthalmia / epidemiology
  • Xerophthalmia / etiology*