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Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol. 2019 Sep 30;26(3):133-137. doi: 10.4103/meajo.MEAJO_29_19. eCollection 2019 Jul-Sep.

Prevalence and Determinants of Color Vision Defects among Preparatory University Students at Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

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College of Medicine, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
Department of Ophthalmology, King Abdullah Medical City, Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
Department of Ophthalmology, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia.



To estimate the magnitude and determinants of color vision defects (CVD) among preparatory health science students.


A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2017. Participants were assessed using 24-plate Ishihara's Test of Color Vision chart. If ≤9 plates were read correctly, the color vision was regarded as deficient. The CVD prevalence and its 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated. CVD was associated with gender, family history of CVD, and other vision problems.


We evaluated 1126 students (552, 49% males; mean age: 18.7 ± 0.7 years). The prevalence of CVD was 1.77% (95% CI: 1.0, 2.6). Among male students, it was 3.5% (95% CI: 1.9, 5.0). Only one female student had CVD. The Duran CVD was found in 18 (1.6%) students. However, only two students had Tritan CVD. Three among twenty CVD students knew that they suffer from CVD. CVD was positively associated to a family history of CVD (odds ratio [OR] = 3.8; 95% CI: 1.4, 10.1;P = 0.02) and male gender (OR = 20.4 [95% CI: 2.7, 153]). CVD was not significantly associated to other vision problems (OR = 0.8 [95% CI: 0.3, 2.0]).


Eighteen in thousand health sciences students suffered from CVD. Ten percent of them had Tritan CVD. Duran CVD seems to be a male sex-related and/or a familial condition. Most of the CVD students seem to have adopted to this defect and were not aware of suffering from it. Screening for CVD is therefore debatable.


Color blindness; color vision screening; visual function defect

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