Objective: To determine the incidence of corneal ulceration in Madurai District, South India.
Design: Retrospective incidence study.
Setting: General community.
Patients: All patients who reside in Madurai District and presented to an ophthalmologist in 1993 with corneal ulceration.
Main outcome measure: Cases of corneal ulceration.
Results: 1148 cases of corneal ulceration were recorded in the medical records of those ophthalmologists who maintained records. Based upon the recorded number of cases, the annual incidence per 10,000 population was 3.4. The ratio of male to female patients was 1.6:1.0. When the estimated number of cases from those without records was added to the total number of recorded cases the annual incidence was 11.3 per 10,000 population.
Conclusion: Corneal ulceration is a common occurrence in South India. While the true incidence of this problem is impossible to determine because of the lack of medical records, we believe our estimation of the incidence to be close to the true incidence in this community.