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A pilot study was carried out to determine the prevalence of ophthalmic disease in the Indian community of Southall and to ascertain the best methods applicable for a larger formal study. Three sites were chosen for the study, a Sikh gurdwara, a mosque and a Hindu temple. The subjects were volunteers aged 30 years and over who had visited the appropriate place of worship at least twice in the previous month. A total of 184 subjects were examined. The prevalence of blindness was 2.7% by the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria, while 9.8% had uniocular blindness. The prevalence of glaucoma and ocular hypertension was 2.7% and 7%, respectively. Of the 184 subjects examined, 58% had cataract and 3.8% had age-related maculopathy. The prevalence of visually disabling trachomatous eye disease was 9.7%. The prevalence of diabetes mellitus was 17.9%, and that of hypertension 22.8%. This small study suggests that people with origins from the Indian subcontinent have a higher prevalence of ophthalmic disease than the Caucasian population.