Prevalence and causes of low vision and blindness in an urban malay population: the Singapore Malay Eye Study.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the prevalence and causes of low vision and blindness in a Malay population. METHODS: A population-based, cross-sectional study of 3280 participants of Malay ethnicity, aged 40 to 79 years, was conducted. Participants underwent standardized ophthalmic assessments to determine (1) presenting and best-corrected visual acuity according to US and modified World Health Organization definitions of blindness and low vision and (2) the primary causes of visual impairment. RESULTS: Of 4168 eligible individuals, 3280 participated in the study (78.7%). The population-weighted prevalence of bilateral blindness was 0.3% and of bilateral low vision, 4.4% (US definition of presenting visual acuity). After best-corrected visual acuity, the population-weighted prevalence of bilateral blindness was reduced to 0.1% and bilateral low vision to 1.0%. Cataract was the main cause of presenting unilateral (38.9%) and bilateral (65.2%) blindness, whereas undercorrected refractive error was the main cause of presenting unilateral (68.8%) and bilateral (52.2%) low vision. Diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and glaucoma were the other leading causes of blindness and low vision. CONCLUSIONS: The age-standardized prevalences of bilateral blindness and low vision in a Malay population were lower when compared with other Asian studies. Undercorrected refractive error and cataract are the leading causes of visual impairment among the Malay adult population in Singapore.
Wong, TY; Chong, EW; Wong, W-L; Rosman, M; Aung, T; Loo, J-L; Shen, S; Loon, S-C; Tan, DTH; Tai, ES; Saw, S-M; Singapore Malay Eye Study Team,
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