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Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2014 Apr;42(3):249-53. doi: 10.1111/ceo.12164. Epub 2013 Aug 4.

Prevalence and causes of corneal blindness.

Author information

1
The First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The study aimed to assess the prevalence and causes of corneal blindness in a rural northern Chinese population.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional study.

PARTICIPANTS OR SAMPLES:

The cluster random sampling method was used to select the sample.

METHODS:

This population-based study included 11 787 participants of all ages in rural Heilongjiang Province, China. These participants underwent a detailed interview and eye examination that included the measurement of visual acuity, slit-lamp biomicroscopy and direct ophthalmoscopy. An eye was considered to have corneal blindness if the visual acuity was <9/18 because of corneal diseases.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

The main outcome measure was prevalence rates of corneal blindness and low vision.

RESULTS:

Among the 10 384 people enrolled in the study, the prevalence of corneal blindness is 0.3% (95% confidence interval 0.2-0.4%). The leading cause was keratitis in childhood (40.0%), followed by ocular trauma (33.3%) and keratitis in adulthood (20.0%). Age and illiteracy were found to be associated with an increased prevalence of corneal blindness.

CONCLUSION:

Blindness because of corneal diseases in rural areas of Northern China is a significant public health problem that needs to be given more attention.

KEYWORDS:

blindness; corneal diseases; population-based; rural area

PMID:
23844585
DOI:
10.1111/ceo.12164
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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