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Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2006 Feb;13(1):35-42.

Trends in registered blindness and its causes over 19 years in Western Australia.

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Centre for Ophthalmology and Visual Science, The Lions Eye Institute, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.



To estimate the population-based incidence rates of blindness registration and their trends over time in Western Australia.


A retrospective review was performed on all cases of bilateral blindness registered with the Association for the Blind of Western Australia between 1984 and 2002. The causes and mean age at blindness registration were ascertained and incidence rates of blindness due to various causes were calculated.


A total of 3852 blind certificates were examined. From 1984 to 1994, the annual incidence of registered bilateral blindness decreased significantly at an average rate of 9.4% per year (p < 0.0001), but then rose at a mean rate of 4.1% per year (p < 0.0001). ARMD blindness similarly fell by 8.9% per year (p < 0.0001), but then rose after 1994 by 4.5% per year (p < 0.0001). The incidence due to glaucoma decreased at an average rate of 10.3% per year (p < 0.0001) until 1994 and then rose at 7.4% per year at borderline significance (p = 0.025).


There has been a nonlinear decrease in the incidence of registered blindness, in particular glaucoma-related blindness, in Western Australia. Rates of total registered blindness and that due to ARMD fell from 1984 to 1994, but have risen since.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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