GBVI – Change in Prevalence of the Causes of Visual Impairment from 1990 to 2015

Rupert Bourne - Vision Loss Expert Group

Serge Resnikoff

Peter Ackland - IAPB

Change in prevalence of visual impairment by cause from 1990 to 2015

GBM roundelComparing the prevalence (all ages) of the causes of visual impairment for the years 1990 and 2015 provides an interesting insight to changes over the 25-year period. Figure 4 shows the percentage change in crude prevalence and Figure 5 shows the change in age-standardised prevalence.

The decline in the prevalence of Trachoma is particularly encouraging over the 25-year period.

Figure 4 – Change in prevalence of vision impairment by cause from 1990 to 2015

Chapter-1b-GBVL-Figure4-Crude

Figure 5 – Change in prevalence of vision impairment by cause from 1990 to 2015

Chapter-1b-GBVL-Figure5-Age-Standardised

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A decline is observed in prevalence of visual impairment for each of the eye conditions except diabetic retinopathy and the various eye conditions collated under the ‘other’ category, where the crude prevalence increased.

The data needs to be interpreted with caution, especially for the less frequent conditions, as the uncertainty intervals associated with these figures is quite wide.

A decline is observed in prevalence of visual impairment for each of the eye conditions except Diabetic Retinopathy and the various eye conditions collated under the ‘Other’ category, where the crude prevalence increased. The considerable increase in the prevalence of diabetes in recent years has contributed to this and the data suggests that eye health services are not managing to keep up with the rising prevalence of diabetes.

The decline in the prevalence of Trachoma is particularly encouraging over the 25-year period. In contrast, given that Uncorrected Refractive Error is the major cause of visual impairment, one would have wished for a greater decline in the prevalence of this condition – the Myopia epidemic is likely to be slowing this rate of decline.

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