Prevalence of Vitreoretinal Disorders in a Rural Population of SouthernIndia: The Aravind Comprehensive Eye Study | Ophthalmology | JAMA Ophthalmology | JAMA Network
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April 2004

Prevalence of Vitreoretinal Disorders in a Rural Population of SouthernIndia: The Aravind Comprehensive Eye Study

Author Affiliations

From Aravind Medical Research Foundation, Aravind Eye Care System,Madurai, India (Drs Nirmalan, Namperumalsamy, Kim, Narendran, Ramakrishnan,and Krishnadas and Mr Thulasiraj); the Department of International Health,Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Md (Drs Katz,Robin, and Tielsch); the Dana Center for Preventive Ophthalmology, Johns HopkinsUniversity Schools of Medicine and Public Health (Drs Katz and Tielsch); theDepartment of Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (DrRobin); and the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Maryland Schoolof Medicine, Baltimore (Dr Suan). The authors have no relevant financial interestin this article.

Arch Ophthalmol. 2004;122(4):581-586. doi:10.1001/archopht.122.4.581

Objective  To determine the magnitude of vitreoretinal disorders in a rural southernIndian population.

Methods  Cluster sampling was used to identify individuals 40 years and olderin Tamil Nadu in southern India. Demographic details, vision measurement andrefraction using logMAR charts, anterior segment slitlamp examination, dilatedposterior segment slitlamp examination using a 78-diopter (D) lens, and indirectophthalmoscopy using a 20-D lens were performed.

Results  Complete retinal data were available for 4917 (95.5%) of the 5150 personsexamined. The prevalence of any vitreoretinal disorder was 10.4% (95% confidenceinterval [CI], 9.5%-11.3%). The population prevalence of bilateral blindnessamong persons with vitreoretinal disorders was 0.3% (95% CI, 0.2%-0.5%). Theprevalence of diabetic retinopathy was 0.5% (95% CI, 0.3%-0.7%) in the generalpopulation and 10.5% (95% CI, 6.5%-14.5%) in patients with diabetes mellitus.Only 6.7% of individuals with diabetic retinopathy had previous ophthalmicexaminations. The prevalences of early and late age-related macular degenerationwere 2.7% (95% CI, 2.2%-3.2%) and 0.6% (95% CI, 0.4%-0.8%), respectively.

Conclusions  Vitreoretinal diseases appear to be a major public health problem inIndia. Emphasis on diabetic screening, diabetic therapy, and appropriate lasertherapy of diabetic retinopathy must be explored.