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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 223-231

Knowledge and Awareness of Age Related Eye Diseases: a Population-Based Survey

1 Ophthalmic Epidemiology and Prevention of Blindness Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Ophthalmic Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3 Ophthalmic Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Marzieh Katibeh
Ophthalmic Epidemiology and Prevention of Blindness Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, No 23, Paidarfard St., Boostan 9 St., Pasdaran Ave, Tehran 16666
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Purpose: To determine general awareness and knowledge about cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy (DR), as common avoidable causes of blindness in an Iranian population. Methods: This cross-sectional population-based survey was performed on residents over 45 years of age in Tehran. The sampling frame was the list of all landline phone numbers registered by the Telecommunications Center of Iran, through which systematic random sampling was performed. Data was collected by phone-call interviews and completing a semi-structured questionnaire. Awareness was defined as whether the respondent had ever heard of the disease. Knowledge was assessed by realizing different aspects of each disease. Results: Of a total of 1,084 eligible people including 574 (52.9%) women and 510 (47.1%) men were included and 957 subjects (response rate, 88.3%) completed the interview. Awareness regarding glaucoma, cataract and DR was 46.6% (95% confidence interval [CI]:43.4 -49.8%), 82.9% (95% CI: 80.5 -85.3%) and 86.2% (95% CI: 84-88.4%). In addition, 19.2% (95% CI: 16.7 -21.7%), 57.3% (95% CI: 54.2-60.4%) and 72% (95% CI: 69.2 -74.8%) of respondents could give at least a basic definition of the mentioned diseases, respectively. Only 22.6% (95% CI: 20-25.2%) and 41.6% (95% CI: 38.5-44.7%) realized glaucoma and DR as a treatable condition; in contrast, 77.2% (95% CI: 74.5-79.9%) categorized cataract as treatable. Only 19% and 7.1% knew that DR and glaucoma may commence without any apparent symptoms. Conclusion: Compared with cataract and DR, most participants had limited information about glaucoma. In addition, few of the respondents were familiar with the initial symptoms of DR and glaucoma.

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