Blindness and low vision in The Netherlands from 2000 to 2020-modeling as a tool for focused intervention.


Limburg, H; Keunen, JE; (2009) Blindness and low vision in The Netherlands from 2000 to 2020-modeling as a tool for focused intervention. Ophthalmic epidemiology, 16 (6). pp. 362-9. ISSN 0928-6586 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3109/09286580903312251

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Abstract

Purpose: To estimate the magnitude and causes of blindness and low vision in The Netherlands from 2000 to 2020. Methods: Recent population-based blindness surveys in established market economies were reviewed. Age and gender specific prevalence and causes of blindness and low vision were extracted and calculated for six population subgroups in The Netherlands. A mathematical model was developed to relate the epidemiologic data with demographic data for each subgroup for each year between 2000 and 2020. Results: In 2008 an estimated 311,000 people are visually impaired in The Netherlands: 77,000 are blind and 234,000 have low vision. With the current intervention the number may increase by 18% to 367,000 in 2020. Visual impairment is most prevalent among residents of nursing homes and care institutions for the elderly, intellectually disabled persons and people aged 50+ living independently. Of all people with visual impairment 31% is male (97,000) and 69% female (214,000). More than half of all visual impairment (56%; 174,000 persons) is avoidable. A variation of around 20% might be applied to the numbers in these estimates. Conclusions: The aim of VISION 2020: The Right to Sight to reduce avoidable visual impairment is also relevant for developed countries like The Netherlands. Vision screening and awareness campaigns focusing on the identified risk groups can reduce avoidable blindness considerably. Regular updates of the model will ensure that the prognoses remain valid and relevant. With appropriate demographic data, the model can also be used in other established market economies.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Clinical Research
Research Centre: International Centre for Eye Health
PubMed ID: 19995201
Web of Science ID: 274453800006
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/20511

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