The prevalence of blindness and visual impairment and the proportion of the contributing diseases keep changing significantly from time to time all over the world. Therefore, at any point in time, it is important to get an understanding of the magnitude of the problem and the level of eye care being delivered in various regions in order to plan and execute interventions. A well-designed epidemiological approach gives us clear indications that can guide the way we provide eye care effectively and efficiently.
This issue of Site News provides comprehensive coverage of various blindness epidemiological studies, methods of study, the epidemiology aspects of a wide range of diseases, reports, databases and web links.
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Epidemiology is the study of distribution and determinants of health states or events in specified populations. It is concerned with the collective health of people in a community or an area and it provides data for directing public health action. Epidemiology addresses the key questions of who is at risk for the disease; why they are at risk; and most importantly, what can be done to prevent, treat, and minimize the impact of these diseases on society. Epidemiologic studies can be hypothesis generating or translational, representing a component of the "bench to bedside to population" continuum.
Researchers carry out epidemiological studies to discover if there is any correlation with factors that might indicate the causes of illness. In vision research, epidemiological information is used to plan and evaluate strategies firstly to prevent illness and furthermore to guide to the management of patients in whom disease has already developed.
- THE BEAVER DAM EYE STUDY (BDES)
The Beaver Dam Eye Study is funded by the National Eye Institute, one of the 20 National Institutes of Health. The purpose of the study is to collect information on the prevalence and incidence of age-related cataract, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, which are all common eye diseases causing loss of vision in an aging population. The study was designed to discover (or detect) causes of these conditions. The study also has examined other aging problems, such as decline in overall health and quality of life and development of kidney and heart disease.
- THE BEAVER DAM EYE STUDY ARTICLES
The link contains the list of articles to the Beaver Dam Eye Study
- THE FRAMINGHAM EYE STUDY
Framingham Eye Study, undertaken by the National Eye Institute, was to provide a description of the prevalence and severity of four diseases that are believed to be the major causes of severe visual handicap among adults in the United States. Here is the link for The Framingham Eye Study publications.
- THE SALISBURY EYE EVALUATION
The Salisbury Eye Evaluation and Driving Study (SEEDS) is a longitudinal study of vision, cognition, and driving behavior of older drivers living in the greater Salisbury metropolitan area. This study was conducted in Wicomico County located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore on a peninsula between the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean. Public transport options are limited in this area and older members of the community rely on private motor vehicles as their primary means of transportation. Here is the link to for the Salisbury Eye Evaluation project publications.
- BLUE MOUNTAINS EYE STUDY
The Blue Mountains Eye Study (BMES) is the first large population-based assessment of visual impairment and common eye diseases of a representative older Australian community sample. The project was conducted in an area that included Katoomba, Leura, Medlow Bath (postcode 2780) and Wentworth Falls (postcode 2782). This area was chosen for the study as its demography is similar to the overall Australian population of this age. Starting in 1992, the population has been followed for up to 15 years.
- THE ROTTERDAM ELDERLY STUDY
The Rotterdam Elderly Study was a prospective cohort study in the Ommoord district in the city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands [Hofman et al., 1991]. Following the pilot in 1989, recruitment started in January 1990. The main objectives of the Rotterdam Study were to investigate the risk factors of cardiovascular, neurological, ophthalmological and endocrine diseases in the elderly. Here is the link to the Rotterdam eye study publications.
- BARBADOS EYE STUDY
The Barbados Eye Study (BES), a population-based study, included 4709 Barbados-born citizens, or 84% of the eligible members of a simple random sample, 40 to 84 years of age. The BES (1987–1992) aimed to determine prevalence and evaluate factors for ocular diseases. Following is the link to major publications out of the Barbados Eye Study.
- THE BEIJING EYE STUDY
The Beijing Eye Study is a population-based study which included 4439 of 5324 subjects (aged &gt; or = 40 years) who were initially examined in 2001. The study was repeated in 2006, when 3251 (73.2% of 4439, or 61.1% of 5324) of the original subjects participated. Participants underwent a series of examinations including: refractometry; pneumotonometry; biomicroscopy assisted by slit-lamp; optical coherence tomography of the anterior segment; photography of the cornea, lens, optic disc, macula and fundus, blood sampling for laboratory tests, blood pressure measurements, and determinations of anthropomorphic parameters. They were also asked to complete a questionnaire which included questions on socioeconomic parameters, and awareness and treatment of ocular and general diseases.
- SINGAPORE EPIDEMIOLOGY OF EYE DISEASES (SEED) PROGRAMME
The Ocular Epidemiology Research Group, led by Prof Cheng Ching-Yu, conducts and coordinates epidemiological and population-based projects under the Singapore Epidemiology of Eye Diseases (SEED) programme. SERI strategic vision is to provide novel knowledge in the population eye health to enable dissecting, detecting and preventing the most important eye diseases in both children and ageing populations in Singapore and Asia, and also to promote and improve global eye health.
- THE SHIHPAI EYE STUDY
The Shihpai Eye Study is a population-based study focused on epidemiological research of eye diseases of the elderly in Shihpai region of Taipei, Taiwan. A structured questionnaire was used to obtain information on demographic data, personal medical history, family history, and lifestyle. Blood pressure, weight, height, waist, and hip circumference were measured by fully trained interviewers. Those who interviewed were invited to the study, which was conducted in Taipei Veterans General Hospital, a major medical center in Taiwan, for a comprehensive standardized ophthalmic examination.
- SINGAPORE MALAY EYE STUDY
The Singapore Malay Eye Study (SiMES) is a research project designed to collect and document the frequency, causes and risk factors of blindness and visual impairment in our Malay community. SiMES is part of an overall strategy known as the Singapore Eye Disease Study (SEDS), which is conducted in several stages. We have previously conducted a study on Singaporean Chinese, and now SiMES aims to extend this to Singaporean Malays.
- ANDHRA PRADESH EYE STUDY
The Andhra Pradesh Eye Disease Study (APEDS) was conducted in order to design long-term strategies to reduce blindness in the background of non-availability of recent population-based data on various aspects of blindness. The objectives of APEDS were to determine the prevalence and causes of blindness and visual impairment, prevalence of and risk factors for major eye diseases, barriers to eye-care services, and quality of life among the visually impaired.
- ARAVIND COMPREHENSIVE EYE STUDY
The Aravind Comprehensive Eye Survey (ACES) is a population-based survey of adults 40 years of age or older to assess the burden of ocular morbidity and vision impairment in rural south India. The study was approved and is annually reapproved by the Committee on Human Research at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and by the Ethical Review Committee of the Aravind Eye and Children’s Hospitals and adhered to the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki.
- GLAUCOMA EPIDEMIOLOGY
This presentation contains the information about Challenges of Glaucoma Care in the Himalayas (Tibet and Nepal).
- PREVALENCE OF GLAUCOMA IN INDIA AND THE WORLD
This article provides the detailed information about the Prevalence of Glaucoma in India and pointed out regional variation in glaucoma.
- THE EPIDEMIOLOGY OF CATARACT
This article focuses on causes, classification, prevalence causes and incidence of cataract world-wide.
- CATARACT | INTERNATIONAL AGENCY FOR THE PREVENTION OF BLINDNESS
IAPB website provides information about Cataract surgical coverage (CSC) and indicates the Prevalence and causes of visual impairment, including blindness.
- PREVALENCE OF VISUAL IMPAIRMENT, CATARACT SURGERY AND AWARENESS OF CATARACT AND GLAUCOMA IN BHAKTAPUR DISTRICT OF NEPAL
This study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of visual impairment, cataract surgery and awareness of cataract and glaucoma among subjects residing in a district of Nepal.
- PREVALENCE OF DIABETIC RETINOPATHY IN INDIA
The Sankara Nethralaya Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) Epidemiology and Molecular Genetic Study (SN-DREAMS 1), a population-based cross-sectional study, used multistage random sampling that was stratified, based on economic criteria. The study aimed at assessing the prevalence of DR in the urban South Indian general population.
- DIABETIC RETINOPATHY: AN INDIAN PERSPECTIVE
This review focuses prevalence and risk factors of diabetic retinopathy in India.
- REFRACTIVE ERROR BLINDNESS - WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
This review presents a summary of the current and likely future issues related to blindness due to refractive error in different part of the world.
- GLOBAL MAGNITUDE OF VISUAL IMPAIRMENT CAUSED BY UNCORRECTED REFRACTIVE ERRORS IN 2004
This paper presents the estimate of the prevalence of visual impairment from uncorrected refractive errors for all ages over 5 years at regional and global levels, based on recent published and unpublished surveys.
- PREVALENCE OF REFRACTIVE ERRORS IN ADOLESCENTS IN OUT-PATIENT ATTENDEES OF THE PREVENTIVE OPHTHALMOLOGY CLINIC OF COMMUNITY MEDICINE, S K I M S, KASHMIR, INDIA
The study reports of prevalence of refractive errors in adolescents (12-18 years). It presents the prevalence of refractive errors by By age, sex, class, type of error and socio-economic status in Srinagar city.It presents the prevalence of refractive errors by age, sex, class, type of error and socio-economic status in Srinagar city.
- THE EPIDEMIOLOGY AND IMPACT OF BLINDNESS AND VISION LOSS IN AUSTRALIA
This article provides a brief overview of the major causes of blindness and low vision in Australia, including a brief description of the signs and symptoms, and an indication of the prevalence, risk factors and interventions for each condition.
- THE EPIDEMIOLOGY OF DRY EYE DISEASE - REPORT OF THE EPIDEMIOLOGY SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE INTERNATIONAL DRY EYE WORKSHOP (2007)
This report summarizes current knowledge on the epidemiology of dry eye disease, providing prevalence and incidence data from various populations.
- BURDEN OF CORNEAL BLINDNESS IN INDIA
This article provides an overall picture of the burden of corneal blindness in India based on a systematic review of published literature on the subject.
- CHILDHOOD BLINDNESS IN THE CONTEXT OF VISION 2020 — THE RIGHT TO SIGHT
This article provides an overview of the prevalence, incidence and determining causes of Childhood Blindness globally.
- PUBLIC HEALTH AND CATARACT BLINDNESS
This presentation provides an overview of epidemiology of cataract and public health approaches to control cataract blindness.
- MAPPING THE GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION OF TRACHOMA
This articles attempts to summarize and map the existing population-based data on active trachoma and trichiasis.
- CENTRE FOR EYE EPIDEMIOLOGY
The Center for Eye Epidemiology promotes interdisciplinary investigations into blinding diseases of public health importance. Center faculty have expertise in epidemiology, biostatistics, health services research, eye diseases associated with aging, public health and international health. They collaborate with ophthalmologists, geriatricians and statisticians around the world to advance knowledge related to the causes, prevention and consequences of specific eye diseases.
- BC CENTRE FOR EPIDEMIOLOGY & INTERNATIONAL OPHTHALMOLOGY
The BC Centre for Epidemiologic and International Ophthalmology, works closely with eye care program partners to provide formal and informal teaching in research methods, data management, and report production with the aim of furthering the World Health Organization VISION 2010 initiative.
- GLOBAL BLINDNESS: PLANNING AND MANAGING EYE CARE SERVICES
The International Centre for Eye Health (ICEH) and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine are launching this free online course with the help of its partners Future Learn. This six-week free course provides an understanding on the main causes of avoidable blindness and a practical planning approach to strengthen local eye care services.
- NATIONAL EYE HEALTH EPIDEMIOLOGICAL MODEL (NEHEM)
This page allows you to see the number of people affected by eye health conditions in different areas in the UK. These results are calculated using rates we have derived from the literature.
- VISION PROBLEMS IN THE U.S.
The Vision Problems in the U.S. report and database provides useful estimates of the prevalence of sight-threatening eye diseases in Americans aged 40 and older. This report includes information on the prevalence of blindness and vision impairment, significant refractive error, and the four leading eye diseases affecting older Americans: age-related macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. The estimates in this report use published prevalence rates and 2010 U.S. census data. These estimates reflect the growth and changing racial, ethnic and age composition of the United States population.
- EYE HEALTH STATISTICS
This page contains Eye Health Statistics for the United States compiled by American Academy of Ophthalmology.
- BLINDNESS STATISTICS - THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND
This NFB link provides statistics on blindness are estimated, which means that the numbers found in a sample are extrapolated to the entire population. United States government agencies—including the Bureau of the Census, the National Center for Health Statistics, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- THE EPIDEMIOLOGY OF BLINDNESS IN NEPAL
This report provides information on present situation of blindness and outcome of the existing eye care services in Nepal. The survey was carried out by local ophthalmologists and their team under supervision of the National Research and Monitoring Department of Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh and Survey Advisory Committee.
- EPIDEMIOLOGY OF BLINDNESS WORLDWIDE
This chapter provides data on global blindness includes developing and developed countries.
Aravind Eye Care System EyeinfoBase is a data warehouse that collects, stores and displays information on eye diseases and their risk factors for all regions based on findings from research publication and other relevant sources. Eye health professionals can refer this database for information on eye diseases. New users will need to register to get access to the database.
- ARCHIVE OF COMMUNITY EYE HEALTH
The Community Eye Health Journal (international edition) is a quarterly publication sent free to over 22,000 health care providers worldwide, mainly in low and middle-income countries. Our total readership is approximately 35,000 when our French, Indian, Chinese and Spanish editions are included. 16,000 of our readers work in Africa.The aim of the journal is to ensure that up-to-date and relevant information reaches eye care workers of all levels in the countries where the burden of eye disease and blindness is greatest.
- DR. ASTRID FLETCHER
Dr Astrid Fletcher Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology, Department of Epidemiology and Population Sciences, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Astrid Fletcher has a first degree in anthropology, a postgraduate degree in biological anthropology and a PhD in Epidemiology. Her research programme focuses on older people and includes studies of screening for common disabilities and conditions, and ophthalmic epidemiology. She has a particular interest in eye diseases of the older population including the aetiology aspects, eye care delivery and access. She is the Principal Investigator of the MRC Trial of assessment of older people, the seven country EUREYE study which is investigating risk factors for AMD and the INDEYE study - a 2 centre study in India investigating risk factors for cataract and age related macular degeneration. The below link contains her publication of articles related to vision Science
- VISION SCIENCE PUBLICATIONS BY DR. ASTRID FLETCHER
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