Rapid assessment of avoidable blindness in Kurdistan, Iran
, Seyed-Farzad Mohammadi1, Marzieh Katibeh2
, Ebrahim Ghaderi3, Cyrus Alinia4, Naser Nourmohammadi1, Alireza Lashay1, Ramin Beiranvand5, Mahsa Yousefpour Marzbali1
, Ali Sadeghi Tari1
1 Translational Ophthalmology Research Center, Farabi Eye Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Ophthalmic Epidemiology Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; Center for Global Health, Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
3 Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Kurdistan, Iran
4 Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Orumiyeh, West Azarbaijan, Iran
5 Center for Global Health, Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark; Department of Public Health, School of Health and Nutrition, Lorestan University of Medical Sciences, Khorramabad, Iran
Mahsa Yousefpour Marzbali
Translational Ophthalmology Research Center, Farabi Eye Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin Square, Tehran 13366
Ophthalmic Epidemiology Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, No. 23, Paidarfard St., Boostan 9 St., Pasdaran Ave., Tehran 16666
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Purpose: To determine the magnitude and causes of blindness and visual impairment (VI) in Kurdistan, using the Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness methodology.
Methods: In this population-based cross sectional study, 99 clusters were selected through probability proportional to size sampling. Visual acuity (VA) was measured using a standard tumbling “E” chart. Ophthalmologists examined participants with VA < 6/18 in both eyes. The cause of VI in the better eye or the most treatable cause was considered as the primary cause of VI.
Results: A total of 3203 (response rate: 92.4%) individuals aged 50 years and older participated, of whom 1657 (51.7%) were female. The standardized prevalence of blindness, severe visual impairment (SVI), and moderate visual impairment (MVI) based on available correction (presenting VA) were 2.1% (1.5-2.6), 1.7% (1.2-2.2), and 9.6%(8.4-10.8), respectively. The proportion of avoidable causes of blindness, SVI, and MVI were 58.1%, 78.4%, and 83.4%, respectively. The most common cause of blindness and SVI was cataract (27.4% and 60.8% respectively), followed by age-related macular degeneration (25.8% and 13.7%, respectively). The leading causes of MVI were uncorrected refractive errors (RE) (37.2%) and cataract (33.6%).
Conclusion: The prevalence of blindness in the study population seems comparable to the region. According to our results, blindness, SVI, and MVI were mostly due to avoidable causes. Cataract and refractive errors are the principal causes of blindness and VI in Kurdistan.