Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rates of blindness and partial sight have plummeted in developed world

Date:
March 24, 2014
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Rates of blindness and impaired eyesight have plummeted over the past 20 years in the developed world. But macular degeneration has replaced cataract as the leading cause of blindness in rich countries, reveals an analysis of the available.

Rates of blindness and impaired eyesight have plummeted over the past 20 years in the developed world.
Credit: robert / Fotolia

Rates of blindness and impaired eyesight have plummeted over the past 20 years in the developed world. But macular degeneration has replaced cataract as the leading cause of blindness in rich countries, reveals an analysis of the available evidence published online in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

The researchers trawled through the available evidence from 1980 to 2012 on the prevalence and causes of blindness and partial sightedness/impaired vision in high income countries -- Asia Pacific; Australasia; North America; and Western Europe -- and Central and Eastern Europe.

They found 243 suitable studies out of a total of 15,000 worldwide that were representative of many populations.

They then used statistical methods to calculate estimates of the prevalence and most common causes of blindness and impaired vision/partial sightedness between 1990 and 2010 for all 190 countries.

Over the 20 year period, the prevalence of blindness halved in high income countries, falling from 3.314 million people (0.2% of the population) to 2.736 million people (0.1% of the population).

Similarly, the prevalence of partial sightedness/impaired vision dropped by 38%, falling from 25.362 million (1.6% of the population) to 22.176 million people (1% of the population).

Globally, the prevalence of blindness and partial sightedness/impaired vision also fell during this period -- by 37% and 27%, respectively.

In high income countries, women were more likely to be blind or to have poor vision than men, throughout the 20 year period.

The most common cause of blindness changed during this time from cataract (clouding of the lens) to macular degeneration (degenerative condition affecting central vision) -- except in eastern and central European countries.

But the most common cause of partial sightedness/impaired vision -- uncorrected refractive error (including long and short sightedness) -- remained the same.

"[This] shows that even for the highly developed countries one of the most effective, cheapest, and safest ways of improving vision loss by providing adequate spectacles for correcting refractive errors, is being overlooked," the authors point out.

And they warn that the surge in the prevalence of diabetes will have an enormous impact on eye health, with upwards of 100 million people expected to develop diabetic retinopathy, around a third of whom risk losing their sight. Many people with diabetes will also be at risk of glaucoma and cataract, they add.

"Strategies to screen for diabetic retinopathy and provide timely treatment access are critical to prevent this condition from having a greater impact on blindness prevalence in the future," they write.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. R. R. A. Bourne, J. B. Jonas, S. R. Flaxman, J. Keeffe, J. Leasher, K. Naidoo, M. B. Parodi, K. Pesudovs, H. Price, R. A. White, T. Y. Wong, S. Resnikoff, H. R. Taylor. Prevalence and causes of vision loss in high-income countries and in Eastern and Central Europe: 1990-2010. British Journal of Ophthalmology, 2014; DOI: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2013-304033

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Rates of blindness and partial sight have plummeted in developed world." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140324200501.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2014, March 24). Rates of blindness and partial sight have plummeted in developed world. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140324200501.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Rates of blindness and partial sight have plummeted in developed world." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140324200501.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden laid out new guidelines for health care workers when dealing with the deadly Ebola virus including new precautions when taking off personal protective equipment. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins