Prevalence and Causes of Functional Low Vision in School-Age Children: Results from Standardized Population Surveys in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.


Gilbert, CE; Ellwein, LB; the Refractive Error Study in Children Study Group, ; (2008) Prevalence and Causes of Functional Low Vision in School-Age Children: Results from Standardized Population Surveys in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Investigative ophthalmology & visual science, 49 (3). pp. 877-881. ISSN 0146-0404 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.07-0973

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Abstract

PURPOSE: Data on the prevalence and causes of functional low vision (FLV) in adults and children are lacking but are important for planning low-vision services. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence and causes of FLV among children recruited in eight population-based prevalence surveys of visual impairment and refractive error from six countries (India [2 locations]; China [2 locations]; Malaysia, Chile, Nepal, and South Africa). METHODS: Using the same protocol, 4082 to 6527 children aged 5 (or 7) to 15 years were examined at each site. Uncorrected and presenting visual acuities were successfully measured with retroilluminated logMAR tumbling-E charts in 3997 to 5949 children; cycloplegic autorefraction was performed and best corrected acuities assessed. All children were examined by an ophthalmologist and a cause of visual loss assigned to eyes with uncorrected acuity </=6/12. The prevalence of FLV was determined overall and by site; associations with gender, age, parental education and urban/rural location were assessed with logistic regression. RESULTS: The prevalence of FLV ranged from 0.65 to 2.75 in 1000 children, with wide confidence intervals. The overall prevalence was 1.52 in 1000 children (95% CI 1.16-1.95). FLV was significantly associated with age (odds ratio [OR] 1.13 for each year, P = 0.01), and parental education was protective (OR 0.75 for each of five levels of education, P = 0.017). Retinal lesions and amblyopia were the commonest causes. CONCLUSIONS: More studies are needed to determine the prevalence and causes of FLV in children so that services can be planned that promote independence, improve quality of life, and increase access to education.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Clinical Research
Research Centre: The International Centre for Evidence in Disability
International Centre for Eye Health
Centre for Maternal, Reproductive and Child Health (MARCH)
Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
PubMed ID: 18326706
Web of Science ID: 253812900007
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/8117

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