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RESEARCH STUDY

RESEARCH

Prevalence and Causes of Visual Impairment in A Brazilian Population: The Botucatu Eye Study

AUTHOR:

Silvana Artioli Schellini, Shane R Durkin, Erika Hoyama, Flavio Hirai, Ricardo Cordeiro, Robert J Casson, Dinesh Selva & Carlos Roberto Padovani

SPONSOR/INSTITUTION:

YEAR PUBLISHED:

2009

PUBLICATION:

BMC Ophthalmology

KEY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • This paper reports population-based data on the prevalence and causes of visual impairment among children and adults in Botucatu, Brazil.

  • A population-based cross-sectional study was conducted involving a random start point and then systematic sampling of an urban Brazilian population in the city of Botucatu.

  • There were 2485 individuals aged 1 to 91 years that underwent ophthalmic examination.

  • The ophthalmic examination included uncorrected (presenting) and best corrected distance visual acuity using standardized protocols.

  • The primary cause of decreased visual acuity was identified for all patients with visual impairment.

  • The main cause of presenting low vision was refractive error (72.3%) and cataract was the most prevalent cause of blindness (50%).

  • The main causes of low vision and blindness in this Brazilian city were uncorrected refractive errors, cataract, and retinal diseases.

  • Programs to further reduce the burden of visual impairment need to be targeted toward the correction of refractive error and surgery for cataracts.