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Asia Pac J Public Health. 2012 Jan 13. [Epub ahead of print]

Association Between Vision Impairment and Health Among a National Cohort of 87 134 Thai Adults.

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  • 1The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.


To date, more than 300 million people worldwide live with low vision and blindness, imposing social and economic burdens on individuals and families. This study analyzes a cohort of 87134 Thai adults, reporting odds ratios (ORs) and calculating population attributable fractions (PAFs). PAF estimates the proportion of the disease or condition that would not occur if no one in the population had the risk factor. Approximately 28% and 8% reported having refractive errors and vision impairment not correctable by visual aids. Both types of vision impairment were positively associated with poor self-assessed health (adjusted ORs = 1.23 to 2.03) and poor psychological health (adjusted ORs = 1.13 to 1.63). PAFs show that refractive errors explain 6.1% of poor self-assessed health, 3.5% of poor psychological health, and 2.2% of falls in the last year. PAFs for vision impairment not correctable by visual aids explain 7.5%, 4.7%, and 3.1%, respectively. Incorporating early detection and prevention of vision impairment at the primary health care level will contribute to promoting the health of Thais.

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