Table shows the numbers of people newly registered in England and Wales as reported to the DH by the Local Authority Social Services department (form SSDA902) and from Local Government Data Unit – Wales and the numbers of certificates received at ONS during the period April 1999 – March 2000. The figures are very similar – sixty five (in total) extra certificates were received by ONS for blindness registrations than were added to the register during 1999/2000 and for every 100 registrations for partial sight made during 103 certificates were received by ONS. Reasons for the excess include death of the registree before registration was taken up, subsequent decision not to be registered and incomplete data for registration supplied by the local authorities.
Comparison of registration and certification for blindness and partial sight in England and Wales for April 1999–March 2000
The numbers of certificates received by age and sex are presented in Table . We received 34410 BD8 certificates dated between April 1999 and March 2000, of whom 13788 were people certified as blind and 19107 partially sighted; 1515 (4.4 %) of the forms did not indicate whether the individual certified was blind or partially sighted. The majority of the certifications were in the older age groups; 83 % of the blind and 82 % of the partial sight certificates were completed for people aged 65 years and above. Between the ages of 0 and 64, 55 % of the blind certifications were for males but after the age of 65 the sex distribution was reversed with 64 % of blind certifications being female. A similar pattern was seen with partial sight – between the ages of 0–64, 51 % of partial certifications were for males but after the age of 65 67 % of partial sight certifications were for females.
Blindness and partial sight in England & Wales; summary age-sex distribution of certifications; April 1999 – March 2000
Figure shows the relative percentages of the leading causes of blindness certification. The most commonly recorded main cause of certification for blindness was degeneration of the macula and posterior pole (ICD 362.5) (57.2 %), which largely comprises age-related macular degeneration. Glaucoma (10.9 %), diabetic retinopathy (5.9 %), optic atrophy (3.1 %), hereditary retinal disorders (2.8 %), and cerebrovascular disease/accidents (2.5 %) were the next most frequently occurring causes of certification for blindness. If taken together, these causes accounted for over 80 % of blindness certifications during the year.
Causes of certifications for blindness in England and Wales April 1999 – March 2000.
Figure shows the relative percentages of the leading causes of partial sight certification. As for blindness, the most commonly recorded main cause of certification for partial sight was degeneration of the macula and posterior pole (56%). Glaucoma (10.2 %), diabetic retinopathy (7.4%), cerebrovascular disease (4.9%), hereditary retinal disorders (2%), and optic atrophy (1.9%) were frequently occurring causes of certification for partial sight, as for blindness. Myopia and retinal vascular occlusions, however, which did not feature as a leading cause of blindness certification were the main causes for respectively 1.9% and 2 % of partial sight certifications in England & Wales in April 1999 to March 2000.
Causes of certifications for partial sight in England and Wales April 1999–March 2000.
Table shows the number of certifications (for blindness and partial sight combined) due to the three most common causes, AMD, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma per head of population in 1999–2000 and similar figures for 1990/91. Overall there have been increases in all three – but changes are most marked for diabetic retinopathy. Table shows fairly modest increases in certifications due to diabetes in the younger age groups, but in groups aged 65 and over, figures have more than doubled. Increases are seen in the older age groups for AMD but slight decreases in the 0–15 and 16–64 age group. For glaucoma, figures have remained similar or decreased in most age groups – the overall slight increase appears to be due to an increase in the number of individuals surviving beyond 85.
Age and sex specific rates of certification for severe visual impairment per 100,000 population due to diabetes, age related macular degeneration and glaucoma in 1990–91 and 1999–2000