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Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2014 Sep-Oct;42(7):629-36. doi: 10.1111/ceo.12274. Epub 2013 Dec 27.

Disparities in cataract surgery between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in New South Wales, Australia.

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  • 1Centre for Health Research, School of Medicine, University of Western Sydney, Penrith, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

To investigate variation in rates of cataract surgery in New South Wales, Australia by area of residence for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal adults.

DESIGN:

Observational data linkage study of hospital admissions.

PARTICIPANTS:

Two hundred eighty-nine thousand six hundred forty-six New South Wales residents aged 30 years and over admitted to New South Wales hospitals for 444,551 cataract surgery procedures between 2001 and 2008.

METHODS:

Analysis of linked routinely collected hospital data using direct standardization and multilevel negative binomial regression models accounting for clustering of individuals within Statistical Local Areas.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Age-standardized cataract surgery rates and adjusted rate ratios.

RESULTS:

Aboriginal people had lower rates of cataract procedures than non-Aboriginal people of the same age and sex, living in the same Statistical Local Area (adjusted rate ratio 0.71, 95% confidence interval 0.68-0.75). There was significant variation in cataract surgery rates across Statistical Local Areas for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, with the disparity greater in major cities and less disadvantaged areas. Rates of surgery were lower for Aboriginal than non-Aboriginal people in most Statistical Local Areas, but in a few, the rates were similar or higher for Aboriginal people.

CONCLUSIONS:

Aboriginal people in New South Wales received less cataract surgery than non-Aboriginal people, despite evidence of higher cataract rates. This disparity was greatest in urban and wealthier areas. Higher rates of surgery for Aboriginal people observed in some specific locations are likely to reflect the availability of public ophthalmology services, targeted services for Aboriginal people and higher demand for surgery in these populations.

KEYWORDS:

Aboriginal health; cataract surgery; data linkage; disadvantage

PMID:
24299196
PMCID:
PMC4233999
DOI:
10.1111/ceo.12274
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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