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Br J Ophthalmol. 2015 Feb;99(2):147-52. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2014-305945. Epub 2014 Nov 13.

Prevalence of corneal diseases in the rural Indian population: the Corneal Opacity Rural Epidemiological (CORE) study.

Author information

Dr Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
Department of Biostatistics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.



The present population-based study was undertaken to estimate the prevalence, determinants and causes of corneal morbidity and blindness in a rural North Indian population.


Population-based study in India with 12 899 participants of all ages.


Participants were recruited from 25 village clusters of district Gurgaon, Haryana, India using random cluster sampling strategy. All individuals were examined in detail with a portable slit lamp for evidence of any corneal disease during the door-to-door examination. Comprehensive ocular examination including logMar visual acuity, slit lamp biomicroscopy, non-contact tonometry and dilated retinal evaluation was performed at a central clinic site in the respective villages.


Overall, 12 113 of 12 899 people (93.9% response rate) were examined during the household visits. Prevalence of corneal disease was 3.7% (95% CI 3.4% to 4.1%) and that of corneal blindness was 0.12% (95% CI 0.05% to 0.17%). Multivariable analysis demonstrated that corneal disease was significantly higher in the elderly (p<0.0001) and illiterates (p<0.0001). Common causes of corneal opacity in the study population were pterygium (34.5%), ocular trauma (22.3%) and infectious keratitis (14.9%). Corneal diseases contributing to blindness were post-surgical bullous keratopathy (46.2%) and corneal degenerations (23.1%).


The study findings demonstrate that currently ocular trauma, infectious keratitis, post-surgical bullous keratopathy, and corneal degenerations are responsible for the major burden of corneal blindness and morbidity in the Indian population. The prevalence of corneal morbidity due to vitamin A deficiency and trachoma was low in this rural population.


Cornea; Epidemiology; Infection; Public health

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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