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RESEARCH STUDY

RESEARCH

Prevalence and Causes of Vision Loss in High-Income Countries and in Eastern and Central Europe in 2015: Magnitude, Temporal Trends and Projections

AUTHOR:

Rupert R A Bourne, Jost B Jonas, Alain M Bron, Maria Vittoria Cicinelli, Aditi Das, Seth R Flaxman, David S Friedman, Jill E Keeffe, John H Kempen, Janet Leasher, Hans Limburg, Kovin Naidoo, Konrad Pesudovs, Tunde Peto, Jinan Saadine, Alexander J Silvester, Nina Tahhan, Hugh R Taylor, Rohit Varma, Tien Y Wong, Serge Resnikoff

SPONSOR/INSTITUTION:

YEAR PUBLISHED:

2018

PUBLICATION:

The British Journal of Ophthalmology

KEY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Within a surveillance of the prevalence and causes of vision impairment in high-income regions and Central/Eastern Europe, we update figures through 2015 and forecast expected values in 2020.

  • Age-standardised prevalence of blindness and MSVI for all ages decreased from 1990 to 2015 from 0.26% (0.10–0.46) to 0.15% (0.06–0.26) and from 1.74% (0.76–2.94) to 1.27% (0.55–2.17), respectively. In 2015, the number of individuals affected by blindness, MSVI and mild vision impairment ranged from 70 000, 630 000 and 610 000, respectively, in Australasia to 980 000, 7.46million and 7.25million, respectively, in North America and 1.16million, 9.61million and 9.47million, respectively, in Western Europe.

  • In 2015, cataract was the most common cause for blindness, followed by age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, uncorrected refractive error, diabetic retinopathy and cornea-related disorders, with declining burden from cataract and AMD over time.

  • Uncorrected refractive error was the leading cause of MSVI.

  • While continuing to advance control of cataract and AMD as the leading causes of blindness remains a high priority, overcoming barriers to uptake of refractive error services would address approximately half of the MSVI burden.

  • New data on burden of presbyopia identify this entity as an important public health problem in this population. Additional research on better treatments, better implementation with existing tools and ongoing surveillance of the problem is needed.