Epidemiological Associations of Vision Impairment and Health Among A National Cohort of 87,134 Adults in Thailand
V. Yiengprugsawan, S. Seubsman, T. C. Sleigh
International Collaborative Research Grants Scheme , Wellcome Trust UK, and Australian NHMRC
Asian-Pacific Journal of Public Health
The study examined causes of visual impairment (refractive errors and vision not correctable by glasses) and associated adverse health outcomes.
The sample comprised of 87 134 adults, aged 15 to 87 years.
1% participants reported Refractive errors, while 7.9% reported eyesight problems not correctable by any visual aids.
Participants with either type of vision impairment (correctable and not correctable) were more likely to report poor self-assessed health (4.0% for no impairment vs 6.0% for correctable impairment and 7.8% for uncorrectable impairment);
The results were similar for poor psychological health (5.6% vs 6.9% vs. 8.9%);
Those with correctable or uncorrectable vision impairment were also more likely than the unimpaired to report poor hearing (7.2% vs. 12.2% vs. 14.1%).
Metabolic disorders were also more common among those who reported either type of vision impairment.
Overall injuries and falls were also more common among those with vision impairments.
Abstract: To date, over 300 million people worldwide live with low vision and blindness, imposing social and economic burdens on individual and families. Data derived from a cohort of 87,134 Thai adults. We report Odds Ratios (ORs) from logistic regression and derive Population Attributable Fractions (PAFs). Approximately 28% of the cohort members reported refractive errors and 8% had uncorrectable vision impairment. Awareness of refractive errors was associated with higher income and urban residence. Both types of vision impairment were positively associated with poor self-assessed health (adjusted ORs 1.23 to 2.03) and poor psychological health (adjusted ORs 1.13 to 1.63). PAFs show that correctable and uncorrectable vision impairments explain respectively 6.1% and 7.5% of poor self-assessed health, 3.5% and 4.7% of poor psychological health, and 2.2% and 3.1% of falls in the last year. Incorporating early detection and prevention at the primary healthcare level will help to promote the health of Thais.