Prevalence and causes of vision loss in North Africa and the Middle East: 1990-2010.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review;Systematic Review)

BACKGROUND: To describe the prevalence and causes of visual impairment and blindness in North Africa and the Middle East (NAME) in 1990 and 2010. METHODS: Based on a systematic review of medical literature, we examined prevalence and causes of moderate and severe vision impairment (MSVI; presenting visual acuity <6/18, ≥3/60) and blindness (presenting visual acuity <3/60). RESULTS: In NAME, the age-standardised prevalence of blindness decreased from 2.1% to 1.1% and MSVI from 7.1% to 4.5%. In 2010, 3.119 million people were blind, and 13.700 million had MSVI. Women were generally more often affected than men. Main causes of blindness were cataract, uncorrected refractive error, macular degeneration and glaucoma. Main causes of MSVI were cataract and uncorrected refractive errors. Proportions of blindness and MSVI from trachoma significantly decreased. CONCLUSIONS: Although the absolute numbers of people with blindness and MSVI increased from 1990 to 2010, the overall age-standardised prevalence of blindness and MSVI among all ages and among those aged 50 years and older decreased significantly (p<0.05). Cataract and uncorrected refractive error were the major causes of blindness and MSVI.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Khairallah, M; Kahloun, R; Flaxman, SR; Jonas, JB; Keeffe, J; Leasher, J; Naidoo, K; Pesudovs, K; Price, H; White, RA; Wong, TY; Resnikoff, S; Taylor, HR; Bourne, RR; Vision Loss Expert Group,

Published Date

  • May 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 98 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 605 - 611

PubMed ID

  • 24590555

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1468-2079

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2013-304068


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England