Age-related eye disease in the elderly members of rural African community

East Afr Med J. 1997 Jul;74(7):435-7.


The results of eye examination of the elderly persons (above age sixty years) in a rural population in south-western Nigeria are presented. The group comprised only 8.4% of the total population of the village studied, but its members constituted 37% of the persons with blindness and low vision and 27.9% of the persons with ocular abnormalities. Cataract was the commonest cause of blindness and low vision. Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) and glaucoma were also important causes. Seven of the 208 members of the community aged above sixty years had demonstrable ARMD. This incidence is much higher than found in hospital studies performed earlier. The study demonstrates clearly the fact that blindness prevalence increases with age and highlights the causes of blindness and low vision in this population. An early, well-structured approach to age-related eye diseases is suggested, to prevent it from being a serious problem.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging*
  • Cataract / complications
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Glaucoma / complications
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Macular Degeneration / complications
  • Middle Aged
  • Nigeria
  • Prevalence
  • Rural Health*
  • Vision Disorders / etiology*
  • Vision Disorders / prevention & control
  • Vision Screening