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The prevalence of eye disease and uncorrected refractive errors in a group of 167 elderly members of the Bangladeshi community which resides in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets was studied. Of the subjects screened 24.6% were found to have a significant and potentially treatable cause of visual loss and a further 32.3% were visually handicapped through the presence of uncorrected refractive errors. A high prevalence (53.3%) of cataract was found in the elderly Bengalis. The high prevalence of eye disease in this ethnic minority group, has important implications for health service planning.