Regional cause estimates

GBM roundelThe full detail relating to the VLEG estimates of the causes of blindness and moderate and severe visual impairment in the 21 regions are shown here. The Region Summaries also show the causes of visual impairment (blindness + MSVI, all ages) in 2015 for the 21 regions.

Cataract was the leading cause of blindness in 20 of the 21 regions of the world, the one exception being South Asia where Uncorrected Refractive Error was the main cause, closely followed by Cataract.

Uncorrected Refractive Error was significant in all the other regions, accounting for 12-13% of blindness (including the High-Income regions).

The prevalence of blinding Glaucoma and Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) was quite variable – in East Asia, South Asia and South-East Asia the percentages for these two conditions were between 2.4% and 6.9%. In contrast, Glaucoma accounted for between 12% and 16% of blindness in the five High-Income regions, Central Asia, the three European regions and three of the four Sub-Saharan African regions. AMD accounted for 15%-19% of blindness in the five High-Income and three European regions, reflective of the older demographics of these countries compared to other parts of the world.

The contribution to the total number of blind people by Diabetic Retinopathy was also very variable. It was lowest in South Asia at 0.18%, and in nine of the 21 regions Diabetic Retinopathy accounted for less than 1% of the regional blind burden. However, in higher-income regions it accounted for between 3.5% and 4.7% of blind persons, and was highest in Eastern Europe where it accounted for 5.1% of the total number of people blind.

In terms of MSVI, Uncorrected Refractive Error was the major cause in all 21 regions, accounting for more than two thirds of MSVI in South Asia (67.9%) and between 46% and 50% in the other 20 regions.

If one considers the summary category of ‘distance visual impairment’ (blindness + MSVI), then the results confirm that Cataract and Uncorrected Refractive Error are undoubtedly the most significant problems in all parts of the world, even in higher-income regions.

In terms of MSVI, Uncorrected Refractive Error was the major cause in all 21 regions, accounting for more than two thirds of MSVI in South Asia (67.9%) and between 46% and 50% in the other 20 regions.

BDI15_017

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