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Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2018 Feb;25(1):21-26. doi: 10.1080/09286586.2017.1337912. Epub 2017 Sep 12.

The Prevalence of Corneal Opacity in Rural Areas in Iran: A Population-based Study.

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a Noor Research Center for Ophthalmic Epidemiology, Noor Eye Hospital , Tehran , Iran.
b Noor Ophthalmology Research Center , Noor Eye Hospital , Tehran , Iran.
c Refractive Errors Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences , Mashhad , Iran.
d Department of Medical Surgical Nursing , School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences , Tehran , Iran.



To determine the prevalence of corneal opacity in rural areas in Iran: a population-based study Methods: This was a cross-sectional population-based study using multi-stage cluster sampling from rural-dwellers of villages in the north and southwest of Iran. All participants underwent vision testing including measurement of visual acuity and refraction followed by slit lamp examination by an ophthalmologist through which the presence of corneal opacity was determined.


The participants were 3314 people (response rate = 86.5%), and 56.3% were female. The prevalence of corneal opacity in at least one eye in the studied subjects was 1.68% (95% CI: 1.08-2.27%); 1.07% (95% CI: 0.04-3.43%) and 2.47% (95% CI: 1.49-3.43%) in women and men, respectively, and 1.45% (95% CI: 0.4-2.45%) and 1.97% (95% CI: 1.3-2.94%) in the southwest and north of the country, respectively. The prevalence of corneal opacity was related to male gender (OR = 2.06, 95% CI: 1.13-3.74) and age (OR = 1.06, 95% CI: 1.04- 1.09) but not with education level. The prevalence of visual impairment and blindness among cases with corneal opacity was 46.2% and 19.2%, respectively.


Given the high prevalence of corneal opacity in rural areas in Iran, it is essential to prioritize rural areas for allocation of resources and facilities for the diagnosis, screening, and necessary treatment measures.


Corneal blindness; Iran; corneal diseases; corneal opacity; prevalence

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