Prevalence of Blindness and Cataract Surgical Outcomes in Takeo Province, Cambodia

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This article was originally published as:

Morchen, M., Langdon, T., Ormsby, G. M., Meng, N., Seiha, D., Piseth, K., & Keeffe, J.E. (2015). Prevalence of blindness and cataract surgical outcomes in Takeo Province, Cambodia. Asia Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology, 4(1), 25-31. doi:10.1097/APO.0000000000000061

ISSN: 2162-0989


111301 Ophthalmology| 111706 Epidemiology

Avondale Research Centre

Lifestyle Research Centre

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Purpose: To estimate the prevalence of blindness and cataract surgical outcomes in persons 50 years or older above in Takeo Province, Cambodia.

Design: A population based survey.

Methods: A total of 93 villages were selected through probability proportionate to size using the Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness methodology. Households from 93 villages were selected using compact segment sampling. Visual acuity (VA) of 4650 people 50 years or older was tested and lens status and cause of visual impairment were assessed.

Results: The response rate was 96.2%. The age- and sex-adjusted prevalence of bilateral blindness [presenting visual acuity (PVA) <3/60 in the better eye] was 3.4% (95% confidence interval, 2.8%-4.0%), resulting in an estimated 4187 people blind in Takeo Province. The age- and sex-adjusted prevalence of low vision (PVA <6/18 to 3/60) was 21.1%, an estimated 25,900 people. Cataract surgical coverage in the bilaterally blind was 64.7% (female 59.5%, male 78.1%). Cataract surgical outcome was poor (best-corrected visual acuity <6/60) in only 7.7% and good in 88.7% (best-corrected visual acuity >=6/18) of eyes operated in the last 5 years before the survey.

Conclusions: The cataract surgical coverage for women is less than that for men. The increased life expectancy in Cambodia and the fact that women constitute 60.6% of the population (aged >=50 years) at Takeo Province could have had an impact on cataract workload and high prevalence of blindness. A repeated survey using the same methodology after 8-12 years might be helpful in proving genuine change over time.


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