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1.  Inverse Association of Vitamin C with Cataract in Older People in India 
Ophthalmology  2011;118(10):1958-1965.e2.
Objective
To examine the association between vitamin C and cataract in the Indian setting.
Design
Population-based cross-sectional analytic study.
Participants
A total of 5638 people aged ≥60 years.
Methods
Enumeration of randomly sampled villages in 2 areas of north and south India to identify people aged ≥60 years. Participants were interviewed for socioeconomic and lifestyle factors (tobacco, alcohol, household cooking fuel, work, and diet); attended a clinical examination, including lens photography; and provided a blood sample for antioxidant analysis. Plasma vitamin C was measured using an enzyme-based assay in plasma stabilized with metaphosphoric acid, and other antioxidants were measured by reverse-phase high-pressure liquid chromatography.
Main Outcome Measures
Cataract and type of cataract were graded from digital lens images using the Lens Opacity Classification System III (LOCS III), and cataract was classified from the grade in the worse eye of ≥4 for nuclear cataract, ≥3 for cortical cataract, and ≥2 for posterior subcapsular cataract (PSC). Any cataract was defined as any unoperated or operated cataract.
Results
Of 7518 enumerated people, 5638 (75%) provided data on vitamin C, antioxidants, and potential confounders. Vitamin C was inversely associated with cataract (adjusted odds ratio [OR] for highest to lowest quartile = 0.61; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.51–0.74; P=1.1×10−6). Inclusion of other antioxidants in the model (lutein, zeaxanthin, retinol, β-carotene, and α-tocopherol) made only a small attenuation to the result (OR 0.68; 95% CI, 0.57–0.82; P < 0.0001). Similar results were seen with vitamin C by type of cataract: nuclear cataract (adjusted OR 0.66; CI, 0.54–0.80; P < 0.0001), cortical cataract (adjusted OR 0.70; CI, 0.54–0.90; P < 0.002), and PSC (adjusted OR 0.58; CI, 0.45–0.74; P < 0.00003). Lutein, zeaxanthin, and retinol were significantly inversely associated with cataract, but the associations were weaker and not consistently observed by type of cataract. Inverse associations were also observed for dietary vitamin C and cataract.
Conclusions
We found a strong association with vitamin C and cataract in a vitamin C–depleted population.
Financial Disclosure(s)
The author(s) have no proprietary or commercial interest in any materials discussed in this article.
doi:10.1016/j.ophtha.2011.03.016
PMCID: PMC3185206  PMID: 21705085
2.  EPHA2 Polymorphisms and Age-Related Cataract in India 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e33001.
Objective
We investigated whether previously reported single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of EPHA2 in European studies are associated with cataract in India.
Methods
We carried out a population-based genetic association study. We enumerated randomly sampled villages in two areas of north and south India to identify people aged 40 and over. Participants attended a clinical examination including lens photography and provided a blood sample for genotyping. Lens images were graded by the Lens Opacification Classification System (LOCS III). Cataract was defined as a LOCS III grade of nuclear ≥4, cortical ≥3, posterior sub-capsular (PSC) ≥2, or dense opacities or aphakia/pseudophakia in either eye. We genotyped SNPs rs3754334, rs7543472 and rs11260867 on genomic DNA extracted from peripheral blood leukocytes using TaqMan assays in an ABI 7900 real-time PCR. We used logistic regression with robust standard errors to examine the association between cataract and the EPHA2 SNPs, adjusting for age, sex and location.
Results
7418 participants had data on at least one of the SNPs investigated. Genotype frequencies of controls were in Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium (p>0.05). There was no association of rs3754334 with cataract or type of cataract. Minor allele homozygous genotypes of rs7543472 and rs11260867 compared to the major homozygote genotype were associated with cortical cataract, Odds ratio (OR) = 1.8, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) (1.1, 3.1) p = 0.03 and 2.9 (1.2, 7.1) p = 0.01 respectively, and with PSC cataract, OR = 1.5 (1.1, 2.2) p = 0.02 and 1.8 (0.9, 3.6) p = 0.07 respectively. There was no consistent association of SNPs with nuclear cataract or a combined variable of any type of cataract including operated cataract.
Conclusions
Our results in the Indian population agree with previous studies of the association of EPHA2 variants with cortical cataracts. We report new findings for the association with PSC which is particularly prevalent in Indians.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033001
PMCID: PMC3297613  PMID: 22412971
3.  Risk factors for nuclear, cortical and posterior subcapsular cataracts in the Chinese population of Singapore: the Tanjong Pagar Survey 
The British Journal of Ophthalmology  2003;87(9):1112-1120.
Aim: To describe risk factors for nuclear, cortical, and posterior subcapsular (PSC) cataracts in Chinese Singaporeans.
Methods: A population based cross sectional study was carried out on ethnic Chinese men and women aged 40–81 years. A stratified, clustered, disproportionate (more weights to older people), random sampling procedure was used to initially select 2000 Chinese names of those aged 40–79 years from the 1996 electoral register in the Tanjong Pagar district in Singapore. Eligible subjects (n = 1717) were invited for a standardised ocular examination and interview at a centralised clinic, following which an abbreviated examination was conducted for non-respondents in their homes. Cataract was graded clinically using to the Lens Opacity Classification System (LOCS) III system. The main outcome measures were adjusted odds ratio for risk factors for specific cataract types (nuclear, cortical and PSC), any cataract and cataract surgery, examined in multiple logistic regression models.
Results: Out of the 1232 (71.8%) examined, 1206 (70.2%) provided lens data for this analysis. Increasing age was associated with all cataract types, any cataract, and cataract surgery. There was no significant sex difference in presence of any cataract, specific cataract types or cataract surgery. After controlling for age, sex, and other factors, diabetes was associated with cortical cataract (3.1; 95% CI: 1.6 to 6.1), PSC cataract (2.2; 95% CI 1.2 to 4.1), any cataract (2.0; 95% CI: 0.9 to 4.5), and cataract surgery (2.3; 95% CI: 1.3 to 4.1). Lower body mass index was associated with cortical cataract (1.8; 95% CI: 1.1 to 2.9; lowest versus highest quintile) and any cataract (2.3; 95% CI: 1.3 to 4.0). Current cigarette smoking was associated with nuclear cataract (1.7, 95% CI: 1.0 to 2.9; more than 10 cigarettes per day versus none). A non-professional occupation was associated with nuclear cataract (2.9; 95% CI: 1.5 to 5.8; for production or machine operators and 2.6; 95% CI: 1.2 to 5.5; for labourers or agricultural workers, both versus professionals). Lower education was associated with nuclear cataract (2.3; 95% CI: 1.0 to 5.2, none versus tertiary), while lower household income was associated with PSC cataract (4.7, 95% CI: 1.1 to 20.0; income S$4000).
Conclusions: Age related cataracts are associated with a variety of risk factors among Chinese people in Singapore, similar to those reported in European, Indian, and African derived populations. These data support common aetiological mechanisms for age related cataracts, irrespective of ethnic origin.
PMCID: PMC1771847  PMID: 12928278
cataracts; Chinese; Singapore
4.  Risk factors for age related cataract in a rural population of southern India: the Aravind Comprehensive Eye Study 
Aim: To determine risk factors for lens opacities and age related cataract in an older rural population of southern India.
Methods: A cross sectional population based study of 5150 people aged 40 years and above from 50 clusters from three districts in southern India. The lens was graded and classified after dilation using LOCS III system at the slit lamp for cataract. Definite cataract was defined as nuclear opalescence ⩾3.0 and/or cortical cataract ⩾3.0 and/or PSC ⩾2.0.
Results: Definite cataracts were found in 2449 (47.5%) of 5150 subjects and the prevalence of cataract increased with age. The age adjusted prevalence of cataract was significantly lower in males (p = 0.0002). Demographic risk factors—increasing age and illiteracy—were common for the three subtypes of cataract; females were more likely to have cortical cataracts and nuclear cataracts. Additionally, nuclear cataracts were associated with moderate smoking (OR:1.28, 95% CI:1.01 to 1.64), lean body mass indices (OR: 1.37, 95% CI: 1.17 to 1.59) and higher waist to hip ratios (OR: 0.67, 95% CI: 0.54 to 0.82); cortical cataracts with hypertension (OR: 1.39 95% CI:1.11 to 1.72), pseudoexfoliation (OR:1.53,95% CI:1.17 to 2.01), and moderate to heavy smoking; and posterior subcapsular cataracts with diabetes (OR:1.55, 95% CI:1.12 to 2.15), lean body mass (OR:1.32, 95% CI:1.11 to 1.57), and high waist to hip ratios (OR: 0.77, 95% CI: 0.62 to 0.94).
Conclusions: Risk factors for age related cataract in this population do not appear to be different from those reported in other populations. Further studies are required to identify the reason for the high prevalence of age related cataract and to understand better the role of each risk factor for cataractogenesis in this population.
doi:10.1136/bjo.2003.038380
PMCID: PMC1772282  PMID: 15258010
age related cataract; India; Aravind Comprehensive Eye Study
5.  Five year incidence of cataract surgery: the Blue Mountains Eye Study 
Aims: To assess the 5 year incidence of cataract surgery in an older population based prospective cohort.
Methods: 5 Year prospective follow up of the population based Blue Mountains Eye Study (BMES) performed in 1992. The follow up study examined 2335 survivors (75.1%) of the 3654 baseline participants. Baseline and 5 year slit lamp and retroillumination lens photographs were graded for presence of cortical, nuclear, or posterior subcapsular cataract using the Wisconsin cataract grading method and cataract surgery was documented from the history and the clinical examination.
Results: An overall cataract surgery rate of 5.7% in first or both eyes was documented. The incidence was 0.3% in people aged 49–54 years at baseline, 1.7% for ages 55–64 years, 7.9% for ages 65 to 74 years, and 17.4% in people aged 75 years or older. The rate of surgery in first or both eyes was 6.0% in women and 5.2% in men, age adjusted p = 0.66. Bilateral cataract surgery was performed during follow up on 2.7% of participants, while 43.1% of unilateral phakic cases had second eye surgery. Presence of any posterior subcapsular (PSC) cataract, either alone or in combination with other cataract types, was the most likely type of cataract at baseline to be associated with incident cataract surgery. Baseline age was the most important non-ocular variable predicting incident cataract surgery.
Conclusions: This study has documented age specific rates for 5 year incident cataract surgery in an older community. The finding of relatively similar incidence rates and ocular predictors of cataract surgery to those reported by the Beaver Dam Eye Study, Wisconsin, United States, is of interest, given previous documented similarities between these two populations.
PMCID: PMC1771515  PMID: 12543745
cataract; cataract surgery; Blue Mountains Eye Study
6.  Cataract surgery and subtype in a defined, older population: the SEECAT Project 
The British Journal of Ophthalmology  2004;88(12):1512-1517.
Aim: To describe the distribution of cataract subtypes present before surgery among a defined population of older, bilaterally pseudophakic individuals.
Methods: This was a cohort study of bilaterally pseudophakic individuals participating in the Salisbury Eye Evaluation (SEE), and their locally resident siblings. Subjects underwent slit lamp and retroillumination photography and grading using the Wilmer Cataract Grading System. For all individuals determined to be bilaterally pseudophakic, an attempt was made to determine for each eye the type(s) of cataract present before surgery, based on previous SEE photographs (for SEE participants) and/or medical records obtained from the operating ophthalmologist (for both SEE participants and their siblings).
Results: The mean age of 223 participants providing data in this study was 78.7 (SD 5.2) years, 19.3% of subjects were black and 60.1% female. The most common surgically removed cataract subtype in this population was pure nuclear (43.5%), followed by nuclear combined with posterior subcapsular cataract (PSC) (20.6%), and nuclear combined with cortical (13.9%); less common types were pure cortical (4.9%), pure PSC (4.5%), and PSC combined with cortical (2.7%). Factors such as sex and source of lens data (study photograph versus clinical record) did not significantly affect the distribution of lens opacity types, while PSC was significantly (p = 0.01) more common among younger people and nuclear cataract was significantly (p = 0.001) more common among white compared to black people.
Conclusion: Epidemiological studies have suggested that the different subtypes of cataract are associated with different risk factors. As studies begin to identify new prevention strategies for cataract, it would appear likely that different strategies will be efficacious against different types of cataract. In this setting, it will be helpful to know which cataract types are most frequently associated with surgery. Among this older, majority white population, nuclear cataract showed a clear predominance among individuals having undergone surgery in both eyes. This may be contrasted with both clinic and population based studies of younger people, which have generally found PSC cataract to predominate.
doi:10.1136/bjo.2004.045484
PMCID: PMC1772435  PMID: 15548802
Cataract surgery; older people
7.  Comparison of age-specific cataract prevalence in two population-based surveys 6 years apart 
BMC Ophthalmology  2006;6:17.
Background
In this study, we aimed to compare age-specific cortical, nuclear and posterior subcapsular (PSC) cataract prevalence in two surveys 6 years apart.
Methods
The Blue Mountains Eye Study examined 3654 participants (82.4% of those eligible) in cross-section I (1992–4) and 3509 participants (75.1% of survivors and 85.2% of newly eligible) in cross-section II (1997–2000, 66.5% overlap with cross-section I). Cataract was assessed from lens photographs following the Wisconsin Cataract Grading System. Cortical cataract was defined if cortical opacity comprised ≥ 5% of lens area. Nuclear cataract was defined if nuclear opacity ≥ Wisconsin standard 4. PSC was defined if any present. Any cataract was defined to include persons who had previous cataract surgery. Weighted kappa for inter-grader reliability was 0.82, 0.55 and 0.82 for cortical, nuclear and PSC cataract, respectively. We assessed age-specific prevalence using an interval of 5 years, so that participants within each age group were independent between the two surveys.
Results
Age and gender distributions were similar between the two populations. The age-specific prevalence of cortical (23.8% in 1st, 23.7% in 2nd) and PSC cataract (6.3%, 6.0%) was similar. The prevalence of nuclear cataract increased slightly from 18.7% to 23.9%. After age standardization, the similar prevalence of cortical (23.8%, 23.5%) and PSC cataract (6.3%, 5.9%), and the increased prevalence of nuclear cataract (18.7%, 24.2%) remained.
Conclusion
In two surveys of two population-based samples with similar age and gender distributions, we found a relatively stable cortical and PSC cataract prevalence over a 6-year period. The increased prevalence of nuclear cataract deserves further study.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-6-17
PMCID: PMC1524813  PMID: 16623958
8.  Risk factors associated with incident cataracts and cataract surgery in the Age Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS). AREDS Report Number 32 
Ophthalmology  2011;118(11):2113-2119.
Objective
To investigate potential risk factors associated with incident nuclear, cortical, and posterior subcapsular (PSC) cataracts and cataract surgery in participants in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS).
Design
Clinic-based prospective cohort study.
Participants
Persons (N=4425), aged 60 to 80 years of age enrolled in a controlled clinical trial of antioxidant vitamins and minerals, AREDS, for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataract.
Methods
Lens photographs were graded centrally for nuclear, cortical, and PSC opacities using the AREDS System for Classifying Cataracts. Type-specific incident cataracts were defined as an increase in cataract grade from none or mild at baseline to a grade of moderate at follow-up, with also a grade of at least moderate at the final visit, or cataract surgery. Cox regression analyses were used to assess baseline risk factors associated with type specific opacities and cataract surgery.
Main Outcome Measures
Moderate cataract was defined as a grade of ≥4.0 for nuclear opacity, ≥10% involvement within the full visible lens for cortical opacity, and ≥5% involvement of the central 5 mm circle of the lens for PSC opacity. These were graded on baseline and annual lens photographs.
Results
A clinic-based cohort of 4425 persons aged 55–80 years at baseline was followed for an average of 9.8 ± 2.4 years. The following associations were found: increasing age with increased risk of all types of cataract and cataract surgery; males with increased risk of PSC and decreased risk of cortical cataracts; non-whites with increased risk of cortical cataract; hyperopia with decreased risk of PSC, nuclear cataract, and cataract surgery; Centrum use with decreased risk of nuclear cataract; diabetes with increased risk of cortical, PSC cataract, and cataract surgery; higher educational level with decreased risk of cortical cataract; and smoking with increased risk of cortical cataract and cataract surgery. Estrogen replacement therapy in female participants increased the risk of cataract surgery.
Conclusions
Our findings are largely consistent with the results of previous studies, providing further evidence for possible modifiable risk factors for age-related cataract.
doi:10.1016/j.ophtha.2011.03.032
PMCID: PMC3178670  PMID: 21684602
9.  Cataract subtype risk factors identified from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination survey 2008–2010 
BMC Ophthalmology  2014;14:4.
Background
To assess the socio-demographic and health-related risk factors associated with cataract subtypes in Korea.
Methods
A total of 11,591 participants (aged ≥40 years) were selected from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2008 and 2010. The Korean Ophthalmologic Society conducted detailed ophthalmologic examinations on these participants based on the Lens Opacity Classification System III. Risk factors for developing any type of cataract, and its subtypes (nuclear, cortical, posterior subcapsular and mixed), were identified from univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis.
Results
The prevalence of cataracts was 40.1% (95% CI, 37.8 − 42.3%) in participants over 40 years old. Older age, lower monthly household income, lower education, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus (DM) were independent risk factors for development of any cataract. Older age, lower monthly household income, lower education, hypercholesterolemia, and DM were independent risk factors for development of pure cortical cataracts. Older age, lower education, metabolic syndrome, and DM were independent risk factors for development of pure nuclear cataracts. Older age and DM were independent risk factors for development of pure posterior subcapsular cataracts. Older age, lower monthly household income, lower education, and DM were independent risk factors for development of mixed cataracts.
Conclusion
Although socioeconomic disparities are related to cataract development, this study identified several “modifiable” risk factors that may help to lower the incidence of cataracts and associated vision loss. Improved control of blood pressure, blood, glucose, and cholesterol may help to reduce the incidence of cataracts in the general Korean population.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-14-4
PMCID: PMC3928645  PMID: 24410920
Cataract; Cataract subtype; Cataract risk factors; KNHANES
10.  The need for cataract surgery: projections based on lens opacity, visual acuity, and personal concern 
AIM—To assess the projected needs for cataract surgery by lens opacity, visual acuity, and patient concern.
METHODS—Data were collected as part of the Melbourne Visual Impairment Project, a population based study of age related eye disease in a representative sample of Melbourne residents aged 40 and over. Participants were recruited by a household census and invited to attend a local screening centre. At the study sites, the following data were collected: presenting and best corrected visual acuity, visual fields, intraocular pressure, satisfaction with current vision, personal health history and habits, and a standardised eye examination and photography of the lens and fundus. Lens photographs were graded twice and adjudicated to document lens opacities. Cataract was defined as nuclear greater than or equal to standard 2, 4/16 or greater cortical opacity, or any posterior subcapsular opacities.
RESULTS—3271 (83% response) people living in their own homes were examined. The participants ranged in age from 40 to 98 years and 1511 (46.2%) were men. Previous cataract surgery had been performed in 107 (3.4%) of the participants. The overall prevalence of any type of cataract that had not been surgically corrected was 18%. If the presence of cataract as defined was considered the sole criterion for cataract surgery with no reference to visual acuity, there would be 309 cataract operations per 1000 people aged 40 and over (96 eyes of people who were not satisfied with their vision, 210 eyes of people who were satisfied with their vision, and three previous cataract operations). At a visual acuity criterion of less than 6/12 (the vision required to legally drive a car), 48 cataract operations per 1000 would occur and people would be twice as likely to report dissatisfaction with their vision.
CONCLUSIONS—Estimates of the need for cataract surgery vary dramatically by level of lens opacity, visual acuity, and patient concern. These data should be useful for the planning of health services.

 Keywords: cataract surgery; visual acuity; patient satisfaction
PMCID: PMC1722775  PMID: 10209437
11.  The Association Between Refractive Errors and Cataract: The Tehran Eye Study 
Purpose:
To determine the association between refractive errors and different types of cataract in Tehran, Iran.
Materials and Methods:
In a cross-sectional survey with a stratified cluster sampling approach, refractive errors were tested under cycloplegia. Myopia and hyperopia were defined as a spherical equivalent refractive error <-0.5 diopters (D) and more than +0.5 D, respectively. Cataract was graded according to the Lens Opacities Classification System III classification and the association between refractive errors and cataract was assessed. Of 1434 participants over the age of 40 years who participated in the study, data from 1313 right eyes were analyzed.
Results:
The mean age of the participants was 52.7 ± 10.0 years, and 58.3% (n = 767) were female. Overall, myopia was more prevalent among those with cataract (odds ratio [OR]: 2.00, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.38–2.89). Based on the type of cataract and refractive errors, the odds of myopia was significantly higher with nuclear cataracts (OR: 1.81, 95% CI: 1.14–2.87). The odds of myopia was higher for cases of nuclear cataract with some degrees of posterior subcapsular cataract (PSC) (OR: 3.33, 95% CI: 1.42–7.80). Of nine participants with cortical cataract, seven participants had hyperopia (OR: 3.77, 95% CI: 0.78–18.31).
Conclusion:
Individuals with nuclear and PSC showed a significantly higher prevalence of myopia while the prevalence of hyperopia was lower in those with cataract. High myopia was seen in higher grades of nuclear cataract. The high percentage of hyperopia was also significant in patients with cortical cataract. More studies are necessary to clarify the correlation between cortical cataract and hyperopia.
doi:10.4103/0974-9233.80705
PMCID: PMC3119285  PMID: 21731327
Cataract; Population-Based Study; Refractive Errors
12.  A population based eye survey of older adults in Tirunelveli district of south India: blindness, cataract surgery, and visual outcomes 
Aims: To assess the prevalence of vision impairment, blindness, and cataract surgery and to evaluate visual acuity outcomes after cataract surgery in a south Indian population.
Methods: Cluster sampling was used to randomly select a cross sectional sample of people ≥50 years of age living in the Tirunelveli district of south India. Eligible subjects in 28 clusters were enumerated through a door to door household survey. Visual acuity measurements and ocular examinations were performed at a selected site within each of the clusters in early 2000. The principal cause of visual impairment was identified for eyes with presenting visual acuity <6/18. Independent replicate testing for quality assurance monitoring was performed in subjects with reduced vision and in a sample of those with normal vision for six of the study clusters.
Results: A total of 5795 people in 3986 households were enumerated and 5411 (93.37%) were examined. The prevalence of presenting and best corrected visual acuity ≥6/18 in both eyes was 59.4% and 75.7%, respectively. Presenting vision <6/60 in both eyes (the definition of blindness in India) was found in 11.0%, and in 4.6% with best correction. Presenting blindness was associated with older age, female sex, and illiteracy. Cataract was the principal cause of blindness in at least one eye in 70.6% of blind people. The prevalence of cataract surgery was 11.8%—with an estimated 56.5% of the cataract blind already operated on. Surgical coverage was inversely associated with illiteracy and with female sex in rural areas. Within the cataract operated sample, 31.7% had presenting visual acuity ≥6/18 in both eyes and 11.8% were <6/60; 40% were bilaterally operated on, with 63% pseudophakic. Presenting vision was <6/60 in 40.7% of aphakic eyes and in 5.1% of pseudophakic eyes; with best correction the percentages were 17.6% and 3.7%, respectively. Refractive error, including uncorrected aphakia, was the main cause of visual impairment in cataract operated eyes. Vision <6/18 was associated with cataract surgery in government, as opposed to that in non-governmental/private facilities. Age, sex, literacy, and area of residence were not predictors of visual outcomes.
Conclusion: Treatable blindness, particularly that associated with cataract and refractive error, remains a significant problem among older adults in south Indian populations, especially in females, the illiterate, and those living in rural areas. Further study is needed to better understand why a significant proportion of the cataract blind are not taking advantage of free of charge eye care services offered by the Aravind Eye Hospital and others in the district. While continuing to increase cataract surgical volume to reduce blindness, emphasis must also be placed on improving postoperative visual acuity outcomes.
PMCID: PMC1771133  PMID: 11973242
blindness; cataract surgery; visual acuity
13.  The influence of cortical, nuclear, subcortical posterior, and mixed cataract on the results of microperimetry 
Eye  2011;25(10):1317-1321.
Purpose
Microperimetry is a useful instrument for evaluating sensitivity threshold due to retinal pathologies. The aim of the study is to assess the impact of different forms of cataract on microperimetry results.
Methods
In a prospective design, patients were recruited for cataract surgery at the Department of Ophthalmology, Medical University of Vienna. Exclusion criteria were any other ophthalmic disease except cataract, that is, macular pathology. Using the Lens Opacities Classification System III classification, patients were classified into four groups: nuclear, cortical, subcapsular posterior, and mixed cataract. Then patients underwent microperimetry: results were analyzed for magnitude of retinal sensitivity loss and correlated to the forms and density of the cataract.
Results
Mean density of cataract was LOCS 3.2–3.5 in the four groups. Differences were not statistically significant. The best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was LogMAR 0.5±0.13 in nuclear, LogMAR 0.49±0.21 in cortical, and LogMAR 0.58±0.12 in mixed cataract patients, and significantly worse in patients with subcapsular posterior cataract (LogMAR 0.64±0.12). Microperimetry shows a mean sensitivity of 11.4–12.6 dB without significant group differences. The BCVA is correlated with microperimetry in patients with nuclear and cortical cataract. Density of cataract is highly correlated with microperimetry results in all groups.
Conclusion
The present study shows a good correlation of microperimetry results with the BCVA of patients with nuclear and cortical cataract. In patients with subcapsular posterior cataract, microperimetry results were better than estimated by BCVA. Density of cataract is highly correlated with macular sensitivity. A reduction of 1 dB in microperimetry per 1 posterior capsule opacification score increase can be estimated for these patients.
doi:10.1038/eye.2011.156
PMCID: PMC3194310  PMID: 21738231
microperimetry; retinal sensitivity; cataract; density of cataract; PCO score; best corrected visual acuity
14.  Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness in Western Rwanda: Blindness in a Postconflict Setting 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(7):e217.
Background
The World Health Organization estimates that there were 37 million blind people in 2002 and that the prevalence of blindness was 9% among adults in Africa aged 50 years or older. Recent surveys indicate that this figure may be overestimated, while a survey from southern Sudan suggested that postconflict areas are particularly vulnerable to blindness. The aim of this study was to conduct a Rapid Assessment for Avoidable Blindness to estimate the magnitude and causes of visual impairment in people aged ≥ 50 y in the postconflict area of the Western Province of Rwanda, which includes one-quarter of the population of Rwanda.
Methods and Findings
Clusters of 50 people aged ≥ 50 y were selected through probability proportionate to size sampling. Households within clusters were selected through compact segment sampling. Visual acuity (VA) was measured with a tumbling “E” chart, and those with VA below 6/18 in either eye were examined by an ophthalmologist. The teams examined 2,206 people (response rate 98.0%). The unadjusted prevalence of bilateral blindness was 1.8% (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2%–2.4%), 1.3% (0.8%–1.7%) for severe visual impairment, and 5.3% (4.2%–6.4%) for visual impairment. Most bilateral blindness (65%) was due to cataract. Overall, the vast majority of cases of blindness (80.0%), severe visual impairment (67.9%), and visual impairment (87.2%) were avoidable (i.e.. due to cataract, refractive error, aphakia, trachoma, or corneal scar). The cataract surgical coverage was moderate; 47% of people with bilateral cataract blindness (VA < 3/60) had undergone surgery. Of the 29 eyes that had undergone cataract surgery, nine (31%) had a best-corrected poor outcome (i.e., VA < 6/60). Extrapolating these estimates to Rwanda's Western Province, among the people aged 50 years or above 2,565 are expected to be blind, 1,824 to have severe visual impairment, and 8,055 to have visual impairment.
Conclusions
The prevalence of blindness and visual impairment in this postconflict area in the Western Province of Rwanda was far lower than expected. Most of the cases of blindness and visual impairment remain avoidable, however, suggesting that the implementation of an effective eye care service could reduce the prevalence further.
A survey of 2,250 people aged 50 y or over in Rwanda, based on clusters of 50 people, found a much lower prevalence of blindness than expected.
Editors' Summary
Background.
VISION 2020, a global initiative that aims to eliminate avoidable blindness, has estimated that 75% of blindness worldwide is treatable or preventable. The WHO estimates that in Africa, around 9% of adults aged over 50 are blind. Some data suggest that people living in regions affected by violent conflict are more likely to be blind than those living in unaffected regions. Currently no data exist on the likely prevalence of blindness in Rwanda, a central African country that is rebuilding following the 1994 genocide and civil war. Parts of the country, such as the Western Province, currently have no eye care services at all, but the government is trying to plan what services are necessary for this part of the country.
Why Was This Study Done?
These researchers wanted to collect data that would help them estimate the number of people suffering from avoidable blindness in Western Province, Rwanda, and to find out the main causes of blindness in this region. The approach they adopted is known as the Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness (RAAB).
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
This research project used survey methods based on the 2002 Rwandan national census. The researchers used the census to produce a list of settlements in Western Province, together with the number of individuals living in each settlement. Settlements were randomly picked from the list using a technique that was more likely to pick out bigger settlements than smaller ones. Each settlement was then divided into “cells,” with each cell containing around 500–700 people. One cell was randomly chosen from each settlement. Then, the researchers visited households within the cells, making sure that they visited 50 people aged over 50 y within each cell. They followed a standard procedure for collecting information from each person included in the survey. Each individual was examined by a nurse to measure their clearness of sight (“visual acuity”), using a Snellen chart (a chart with several rows of letters, where the size of the letters gets smaller as you go down the rows). The people being surveyed were examined by an ophthalmologist and the main cause of blindness was recorded, as well as general information on age, sex, details of any cataract operations, and why a cataract operation had not been done if one was needed.
Around 2 million people live in Western Province. The researchers included 2,250 people in the survey, for whom detailed examinations were done for 2,206 survey participants. Overall, 1.8% of the individuals examined were blind in both eyes. The main causes of blindness in the individuals surveyed were avoidable, and included cataract (clouding of the lens), focusing problems, and scarring of the cornea. Although 65% of cases of blindness were caused by cataract, and the availability of cataract surgery for those who needed it was reasonable, the outcomes of surgery were judged to be poor.
What Do These Findings Mean?
>The overall proportion of individuals in this survey who were found to be blind was quite low—1.8% instead of the expected prevalence of 9%. The researchers estimated that the overall proportion of blind people in all age groups in this region of Rwanda would be around 0.2%, and they calculated that 365 cataract surgeries would be needed in the region every year to meet international targets for correcting cataracts. It is not clear why the prevalence of blindness was lower than expected in this survey; one factor might be the low proportion of people in the 50 y age group in the Rwandan population. However, this survey suggests that most of the cases of blindness in this population are avoidable, and the data produced here are important in planning future eye care services within Rwanda.
PLoS Medicine, as a leading general medical journal, would not usually publish the results of a survey of blindness (or any other medical condition) in just one part of one country. The editors felt this one was of particular interest for several reasons. There has previously been very little information about blindness prevalence in Rwanda. The idea of Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness (RAAB) is also fairly new. Furthermore, the results are a striking contrast with what was found in two studies that we recently published from the southern Sudan (see below for references), another part of Africa that has experienced devastating conflict. The Sudan studies found a very much higher prevalence of blindness. However, it must be noted that the fighting in the Sudan continued over a much longer period (several decades) and the Sudanese environment is different in many respects; for example, it is much drier (which raises the risk of blindness due to trachoma) and many people live in extremely remote locations.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040217
World Health Organization Health Topics maintains a minisite on blindness that includes links to fact sheets, statistics, official publications, and other information
Wikipedia has an entry on visual acuity (clearness of sight), including details of how acuity is measured (note: Wikipedia is an internet encyclopedia anyone can edit)
The World Health Organization publishes detailed country health profiles, including one for Rwanda (click on the relevant country name to download a PDF fact sheet)
VISION 2020 is a global initiative aiming to eliminate avoidable blindness by the year 2020. Its Web site provides information on the main causes of avoidable blindness
Two papers recently published in PLoS Medicine about blindness in the war-afflicted southern Sudan dealt with overall blindness prevalence (Ngondi J, Ole-Sempele F, Onsarigo A, Matende I, Baba S, et al. [2006] Prevalence and causes of blindness and low vision in southern Sudan. PLoS Med 3: e477) and blindness due to trachoma (Ngondi J, Ole-Sempele F, Onsarigo A, Matende I, Baba S, et al. [2006] Blinding trachoma in postconflict southern Sudan. PLoS Med 3: e478)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040217
PMCID: PMC1904464  PMID: 17608561
15.  Intraocular Lenses for the Treatment of Age-Related Cataracts 
Executive Summary
Objective
The objective of the report is to examine the comparative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of various intraocular lenses (IOLs) for the treatment of age-related cataracts.
Clinical Need: Target Population and Condition
A cataract is a hardening and clouding of the normally transparent crystalline lens that may result in a progressive loss of vision depending on its size, location and density. The condition is typically bilateral, seriously compromises visual acuity and contrast sensitivity and increases glare. Cataracts can also affect people at any age, however, they usually occur as a part of the natural aging process. The occurrence of cataracts increases with age from about 12% at age 50 years, to 60% at age 70. In general, approximately 50% of people 65 year of age or older have cataracts. Mild cataracts can be treated with a change in prescription glasses, while more serious symptoms are treated by surgical removal of the cataract and implantation of an IOL.
In Ontario, the estimated prevalence of cataracts increased from 697,000 in 1992 to 947,000 in 2004 (35.9% increase, 2.4% annual increase). The number of cataract surgeries per 1,000 individuals at risk of cataract increased from 64.6 in 1992 to 140.4 in 1997 (61.9% increase, 10.1% annual increase) and continued to steadily increase to 115.7 in 2004 (10.7% increase, 5.2% increase per year).
Description of Technology/Therapy
IOLs are classified either as monofocal, multifocal, or accommodative. Traditionally, monofocal (i.e.. fixed focusing power) IOLs are available as replacement lenses but their implantation can cause a loss of the eye’s accommodative capability (which allows variable focusing). Patients thus usually require eyeglasses after surgery for reading and near vision tasks. Multifocal IOLs aim to improve near and distant vision and obviate the need for glasses. Potential disadvantages include reduced contrast sensitivity, halos around lights and glare. Accommodating IOLs are designed to move with ciliary body contraction during accommodation and, therefore, offer a continuous range of vision (i.e. near, intermediate and distant vision) without the need for glasses. Purported advantages over multifocal IOLs include the avoidance of haloes and no reduction in contrast sensitivity.
Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) was the first material used in the fabrication of IOLs and has inherent ultraviolet blocking abilities. PMMA IOLs are inflexible, however, and require a larger incision for implantation compared with newer foldable silicone (hydrophobic) and acrylic (hydrophobic or hydrophilic) lenses. IOLs can be further sub-classified as being either aspheric or spheric, blue/violet filtered or non-filtered or 1- or 3-piece.
Methods of Evidence-Based Analysis
A literature search was conducted from January 2003 to January 2009 that included OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), The Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment/Centre for Review and Dissemination.
adult patients with age-related cataracts
systematic reviews, randomized controlled trials (RCTs)
primary outcomes: distance visual acuity (best corrected distance visual acuity), near visual acuity (best distance corrected near visual acuity)
secondary outcomes: contrast sensitivity, depth of field, glare, quality of life, visual function, spectacle dependence, posterior capsule opacification.
studies with fewer than 20 eyes
IOLs for non-age related cataracts
IOLs for presbyopia
studies with a mean follow-up <6months
studies reporting insufficient data for analysis
Comparisons of Interest
The primary comparison of interest was accommodative vs. multifocal vs. monofocal lenses.
Secondary comparisons of interest included:
tinted vs. non-tinted lenses
aspheric vs. spheric lenses
multipiece vs. single piece lenses
biomaterial A (e.g. acrylic) vs. biomaterial B (e.g. silicone) lenses
sharp vs. round edged lenses
The quality of the studies was examined according to the GRADE Working Group criteria for grading quality of evidence for interventional procedures.
Summary of Findings
The conclusions of the systematic review of IOLs for age-related cataracts are summarized in Executive Summary Table 1.
Considerations for the Ontario Health System
Procedures for crystalline lens removal and IOL insertion are insured and listed in the Ontario Schedule of Benefits.
If a particular lens is determined to be medically necessary for a patient, the cost of the lens is covered by the hospital budget. If the patient chooses a lens that has enhanced features, then the hospital may choose to charge an additional amount above the cost of the usual lens offered.
An IOL manufacturer stated that monofocal lenses comprise approximately 95% of IOL sales in Ontario and premium lenses (e.g., multifocal/accomodative) consist of about 5% of IOL sales.
A medical consultant stated that all types of lenses are currently being used in Ontario (e.g., multifocal, monofocal, accommodative, tinted, nontinted, spheric, and aspheric). Nonfoldable lenses, rarely used in routine cases, are primarily used for complicated cataract implantation situations.
Conclusions for the Systematic Review of IOLs for Age-Related Cataracts
BCDVA refers to best corrected distance visual acuity; BDCUNVA, best distance corrected unaided near visual acuity; HRQL, health related quality of life; PCO, posterior capsule opacification; VA, visual acuity.
PMCID: PMC3377510  PMID: 23074519
16.  FOUR-YEAR INCIDENCE AND PROGRESSION OF LENS OPACITIES: THE LOS ANGELES LATINO EYE STUDY 
American journal of ophthalmology  2010;149(5):728-34.e1-2.
Purpose
To estimate the 4-year incidence and progression of lens opacities.
Design
Population-based longitudinal study.
Methods
4,658 adult Latinos from Los Angeles County, were examined at baseline and 4-year follow-up. Examination included assessment of lens opacities using the Lens Opacities Classification System II (LOCS II). Incidences of cortical, nuclear, and posterior subcapsular opacities (with LOCS II scores ≥2) were defined as opacity development in persons without that opacity at baseline. Single and mixed opacities were defined in persons without any opacity at baseline. Incidence of all lens changes included development of at least one opacity or cataract surgery among those without any opacity at baseline. 4-year progressions were defined as increase of ≥2 in LOCS II score.
Results
The 4-year incidence of all lens opacities was 14.2%. 4-year incidence of cataract surgery was 1.48%. The incidences were 4.1% for cortical-only, 5.8% for nuclear-only, 0.5% for PSC-only, and 2.5% for mixed. The incidences for any opacities were 7.5% for cortical, 10.2% for nuclear, and 2.5% for PSC. Incidence increased with age (P<0.0001 for all). The progressions were 8.5% for cortical, 3.7% for nuclear, and 2.9% for PSC opacities.
Conclusions
Our Latino population had a higher incidence of nuclear than cortical opacities, but a greater progression of cortical than nuclear opacities. Incidence and progression of PSC was low. Additional understanding of the natural history and progression of various lens opacities will give us a better understanding of how and when to screen for, monitor, and treat cataracts.
doi:10.1016/j.ajo.2009.11.012
PMCID: PMC2867354  PMID: 20181327
17.  Prevalence of and Factors Associated with Lens Opacities in a Korean Adult Population with and without Diabetes: The 2008–2009 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94189.
Objective
We examined the prevalence of and factors associated with lens opacities in a Korean adult population with and without diabetes.
Research Design and Methods
Among the 11,163 adults (≥19 years old) from the fourth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2008–2009, the data from laboratory tests, nutritional surveys, and slit-lamp examinations of 10,248 persons (4,397 men, 5,851 women) were examined. Cataract was defined as the presence of any nuclear, cortical, subcapsular, or mixed cataract in at least one eye, using the Lens Opacities Classification System III.
Results
The weighted prevalence of cataracts were 23.5% [95% confidence interval (CI), 21.7–25.4] in a Korean adult population (19–39 years old, 1.8% [1.3–2.5], 40–64 years old, 25.2% [22.5–28.1],≥65 years old, 87.8% [85.4–89.9])and 54.7% [50.1–59.2] in a diabetic population(19–39 years old, 11.6% [4.5–26.5], 40–64 years old, 41.1% [35.4–47.0], ≥65 years old, 88.3% [83.5–91.8]). In a logistic regression analysis, age, myopia, and the presence of diabetes were independent risk factors. For young (age 19–39 years) and middle aged (age 40–65 years) adults with diabetes, the OR of having a lens opacity is 5.04 [1.41–17.98] and 1.47 [1.11–1.94], respectively, as those without diabetes, whereas for adults aged 65 and older, there was no difference in the prevalence of cataract.
Conclusions
According to these national survey data, ∼ 24% of Korean adults and ∼ 55% of people with diabetes have cataracts. The presence of diabetes was independently associated with cataracts in young and middle aged adults.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0094189
PMCID: PMC3981769  PMID: 24718421
18.  Effect of Cataract Type and Severity on Visual Acuity and Contrast Sensitivity 
Purpose
To determine the effect of cataract type and severity in eyes with pure types of age-related lens opacities on visual acuity (VA) and contrast sensitivity in the presence and absence of glare conditions.
Methods
Sixty patients with senile cataracts aged 40 years or older with no other ocular pathologies were evaluated for VA and contrast sensitivity with and without glare. Lens opacities were classified according to the Lens Opacities Classification System (LOCS) III. VA was measured using the Snellen chart. Contrast sensitivity was measured with the Vector Vision CSV-1000E chart in the presence and absence of glare by calculating the area under log contrast sensitivity (log CS) function (AULCSF).
Results
Cataracts were posterior subcapsular in 26 eyes, cortical in 19 eyes and nuclear in 15 eyes. VA significantly decreased with increasing cataract severity and there was significant loss of contrast sensitivity at all spatial frequencies with increasing cataract severity. AULCSF significantly decreased with increasing cataract severity in the presence and absence of glare conditions. Contrast sensitivity was significantly reduced at high spatial frequency (18 cpd) in cortical cataracts in the presence of glare in day light and at low spatial frequency (3 cpd) in night light.
Conclusion
Increased cataract severity is strongly associated with a decrease in both VA and AULCSF. Contrast sensitivity scores may offer additional information over standard VA tests in patients with early age-related cataracts.
PMCID: PMC3306069  PMID: 22454703
Contrast Sensitivity; Glare Sensitivity; Visual Acuity; Age-Related Cataract
19.  Prevalence of and Risk Factors for Age-Related and Anterior Polar Cataracts in a Korean Population 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e96461.
Objective
To investigate the potential risk factors associated with nuclear, cortical, posterior subcapsular, and anterior polar cataracts (APC) in the Korean population.
Research Design and Methods
This was a population-based, cross-sectional study of 7992 adults (over 40 years of age) from the data of the fourth annual Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, performed from 2007 to 2009. The presence of lens opacity was examined by slit-lamp biomicroscopy and evaluated according to LOCS II standard photographs. The subtype of cataract present, including nuclear, cortical, posterior subcapsular, and anterior polar cataracts, was noted. Multivariable adjusted logistic regression analysis was conducted to examine the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for association of each specific type of cataract with age, sex, health examination, and medical history.
Results
The prevalence of nuclear, cortical, and posterior subcapsular cataract increased gradually with increasing age. However, the prevalence of APC peaked in the 50- to 59-year-old subjects. All types of cataract except for APCs were more prevalent in women. Oral steroid use was associated with a lower risk of APC.
Conclusions
These findings showed the unique characteristics of APC in the Korean population.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096461
PMCID: PMC4060994  PMID: 24936893
20.  Prevalence and Outcomes of Cataract Surgery in Adult Rural Chinese Populations of the Bai Nationality in Dali: The Yunnan Minority Eye Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e60236.
Purpose
To investigate the prevalence and visual acuity (VA) outcomes of cataract surgery in adults of the Bai Nationality populations in rural China.
Methods
We conducted a population-based cross-sectional survey (from randomly selected block groups) of Chinese Bai Nationality aged ≥50 years in southwestern China. Presenting visual acuity (PVA), best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) were recorded and a detailed eye examination was carried out. For all aphakic and pseudophakic subjects identified, information on the date, setting, type, and complications of cataract surgery were recorded. In eyes with VA <20/63, the principal cause of visual impairment was identified.
Results
Of 2133 (77.8% of 2742) subjects, 99 people (129 eyes) had undergone cataract surgery. The prevalence of cataract surgery was 4.6%. Surgical coverage among those with PVA <20/200 in both eyes because of cataract was 52.8%. Unoperated cataract was associated with older age. The main barrier to cataract surgery was lack of awareness and knowledge, cost, and fear. Among the 129 cataract-operated eyes, 22.5% had PVA of ≥20/32, 25.6% had PVA of 20/40 to 20/63, 23.3% had PVA <20/63 to 20/200, and 28.7% had PVA<20/200. With BCVA, the percentages were 42.6%, 23.3%, 10.9%, and 23.3%, respectively. Aphakia (odds ratio [OR], 8.49; P<0.001) and no education (OR, 10.18; P = 0.001) or less education (OR, 6.49; P = 0.014) were significantly associated with postoperative visual impairment defined by PVA, while aphakia (OR, 8.49; P<0.001) and female gender (OR, 4.19; P = 0.004) were significantly associated with postoperative visual impairment by BCVA. The main causes of postoperative visual impairment were refractive error, retinal disorders and glaucoma.
Conclusions
Half of those with bilateral visual impairment or blindness because of cataract remain in need of cataract surgery in Bai population. Surgical uptake and visual outcomes should be further improved in the future.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0060236
PMCID: PMC3618447  PMID: 23577095
21.  Prevalence of Visually Significant Cataract and Factors Associated with Unmet Need for Cataract Surgery: Los Angeles Latino Eye Study 
Ophthalmology  2009;116(12):2327-2335.
Purpose
To estimate in a United States (U.S.) Latino population the prevalence of visually significant cataract, and to report predisposing, enabling, need, and health behavior characteristics associated with the unmet need for cataract surgery (UNCS).
Design
Population-based, cross-sectional study.
Participants
6142 Latinos 40 years and older from 6 census tracts in Los Angeles County, California.
Methods
Participants completed an in-home interview and a comprehensive eye examination which included assessment of lens opacification, using the slit lamp-based Lens Opacities Classification System II (LOCS II), and best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA). Visually significant cataract was defined by: any LOCS II grading ≥2, BCVA <20/40, cataract as the primary cause of vision impairment, and self-reported vision of fair or worse. Because cataract surgery is not needed in all persons, participants with a visually significant cataract or prior cataract surgery in at least one eye composed the at-risk cohort needing cataract surgery. UNCS was defined as any person in the at-risk cohort who had at least one eye with a visually significant cataract. Univariate and stepwise logistic regression analyses were used to identify predisposing, enabling, need, and health behavior characteristics associated with UNCS.
Main Outcome Measure
Prevalence of visually significant cataract, and odds ratios for factors associated with UNCS.
Results
Of 6142 participants who completed the interview and clinical examination, 118 (1.92%) had visually significant cataract in at least one eye. Of the 344 participants who have needed cataract surgery, 118 (29.9%) had UNCS. Independent factors associated with UNCS included health behavior - having last eye exam ≥5 years ago compared to <1 year ago (odds ratio; 95% confidence interval [OR], 3.76; 1.71-8.25)- and enabling factors - being uninsured (OR, 2.79; 1.30- 5.19), income less than $20,000 (OR, 2.60; 1.40-5.56), and self-reported barriers to eye care (OR 2.41; 1.14-5.13).
Conclusions
Latinos in our study had a substantial unmet need for cataract surgery. As Latinos with specific health behavior and enabling characteristics were more likely to have UNCS, interventions aimed at modifying these characteristics may be beneficial in reducing the unmet need and thus reducing the burden of visual impairment related to cataract in the U.S.
doi:10.1016/j.ophtha.2009.05.040
PMCID: PMC2787839  PMID: 19815276
22.  Prevalence of blindness and cataract surgery in Nepal 
BACKGROUND—A national eye care programme was launched in Nepal in the early 1980s. The impact of this programme on blindness and cataract surgery prevalence was evaluated in two geographic zones.
METHODS—People aged 45 years and older were sampled using a stratified cluster design. Within randomly selected clusters, door to door enumeration was followed by visual acuity measurement and eye examinations at conveniently located sites. The full survey was preceded by a pilot study where operational methods were refined and quality assurance measures carried out.
RESULTS—Of the 5112 enumerated individuals 90% were examined. Blindness, defined as presenting visual acuity less than 6/60 in both eyes, was found in 5.3% (95% CI 3.6, 6.8) of individuals examined, with cataract being the principal cause in at least one eye in 78% of cases. Considering both cataract operated and unoperated cataract blind cases, surgical coverage was approximately 42%.
CONCLUSION—The findings suggest that blindness prevalence may have decreased slightly from that estimated in a 1981 national survey, both overall and cataract related. Similarly, cataract surgical coverage may have increased somewhat. None of these changes, however, are at statistically significant levels. Accordingly, the blindness problem remains challengingly high.

 Keywords: blindness prevalence, cataract blindness, aphakia/pseudophakia
PMCID: PMC1722636  PMID: 9797657
23.  Prevalence of visual impairment, cataract surgery and awareness of cataract and glaucoma in Bhaktapur district of Nepal: The Bhaktapur Glaucoma Study 
BMC Ophthalmology  2011;11:2.
Background
Cataract and glaucoma are the major causes of blindness in Nepal. Bhaktapur is one of the three districts of Kathmandu valley which represents a metropolitan city with a predominantly agrarian rural periphery. This study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of visual impairment, cataract surgery and awareness of cataract and glaucoma among subjects residing in this district of Nepal.
Methods
Subjects aged 40 years and above was selected using a cluster sampling methodology and a door to door enumeration was conducted for a population based cross sectional study. During the community field work, 11499 subjects underwent a structured interview regarding awareness (heard of) and knowledge (understanding of the disease) of cataract and glaucoma. At the base hospital 4003 out of 4800 (83.39%) subjects underwent a detailed ocular examination including log MAR visual acuity, refraction, applanation tonometry, cataract grading (LOCSΙΙ), retinal examination and SITA standard perimetry when indicated.
Results
The age-sex adjusted prevalence of blindness (best corrected <3/60) and low vision (best corrected <6/18 ≥3/60) was 0.43% (95%C.I. 0.25 - 0.68) and 3.97% (95% C.I. 3.40 - 4.60) respectively. Cataract (53.3%) was the principal cause of blindness. The leading causes of low vision were cataract (60.8%) followed by refractive error (12%). The cataract surgical coverage was 90.36% and was higher in the younger age group, females and illiterate subjects. Pseudophakia was seen in 94%. Awareness of cataract (6.7%) and glaucoma (2.4%) was very low. Among subjects who were aware, 70.4% had knowledge of cataract and 45.5% of glaucoma. Cataract was commonly known to be a 'pearl like dot' white opacity in the eye while glaucoma was known to cause blindness. Awareness remained unchanged in different age groups for cataract while for glaucoma there was an increase in awareness with age. Women were significantly less aware (odds ratio (OR): 0.63; 95%, confidence interval (CI): 0.54 - 0.74) for cataract and (OR: 0.64; 95% CI: 0.50 - 0.81) for glaucoma. Literacy was also correlated with awareness.
Conclusion
The low prevalence of visual impairment and the high cataract surgical coverage suggests that cataract intervention programs have been successful in Bhaktapur. Awareness and knowledge of cataract and glaucoma was very poor among this population. Eye care programs needs to be directed towards preventing visual impairment from refractive errors, screening for incurable chronic eye diseases and promoting health education in order to raise awareness on cataract and glaucoma among this population.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-11-2
PMCID: PMC3036669  PMID: 21255382
24.  Lens retrodots and vacuoles and their associations with the prevalence and incidence of age-related cataract 
Eye  2011;26(4):568-575.
Aim
To assess the prevalence of retrodots and vacuoles and their associations with the prevalence and long-term incidence of age-related cataract in an older Australian cohort.
Methods
Of 3654 baseline participants of the Blue Mountains Eye Study aged 49+ years (1992–1994), 2335 and 1952 were re-examined after 5 and 10 years, respectively. Lens photographs were graded for cataract, retrodots, and vacuoles. Eye-specific data were used to assess the associations between retrodots or vacuoles at baseline and the prevalence and 10-year incidence of nuclear, cortical, and posterior subcapsular (PSC) cataract and cataract surgery.
Results
At baseline, retrodots were present in 142 persons (4%) and vacuoles in 1333 persons (40%). Prevalence of both lens features increased with increasing age (Pfor trend <0.0001). After adjusting for age and gender, vacuoles were associated with prevalent PSC cataract at baseline (odds ratio (OR), 1.60, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.25–2.05). After adjusting for age, gender, smoking, hypertension, diabetes, education, and use of inhaled/oral steroids, baseline retrodots were associated with an increased incidence of cataract surgery (OR 2.90, 95% CI 1.71–4.91), while 3+ vacuoles at baseline were associated with an increased risk of PSC cataract (OR 3.56, 95% CI 2.13–5.95) and cataract surgery (OR 1.84, 95% CI 1.22–2.77).
Discussion
Lens retrodots and vacuoles were found to be positively associated with 10-year incidence of cataract surgery, and vacuoles associated with PSC cataract, a finding suggestive of shared risk factors or pathogenesis between these two lens features and the development of PSC cataract.
doi:10.1038/eye.2011.349
PMCID: PMC3325569  PMID: 22193877
cataract; cataract surgery; lens opacities
25.  Prevalence of Cataract Type in Relation to Axial Length in Subjects with High Myopia and Emmetropia in an Indian Population 
American journal of ophthalmology  2007;145(1):176-181.
Purpose
To compare the prevalence of different types and densities of age-related cataract in subjects with high myopia and emmetropia in the Indian urban clinic-based population.
Design
Prospective observational clinic-based case-control study.
Methods
An observational case-control study of 800 healthy eyes was undertaken at Iladevi Cataract & IOL Research Center, Ahmedabad, India. Subjects with high myopia (axial length [AXL] ≥ 26.0 mm) (n = 400 eyes) and those with emmetropia (AXL 21.0–23.99 mm) were examined (n = 400 eyes). The type of cataract was categorized as: nuclear, cortical, and posterior subcapsular cataract (PSC). Nuclear density was measured based on the Emery and Little classification.
Results
In all the age groups (40+ years old), nuclear cataract was more often encountered in subjects with high myopia (Odds ratio: 3.8, 95% CI 2.9 – 5.2, P <0.001); PSC and mixed cataracts were frequently encountered in subjects with emmetropia (P <0.001). Prevalence of nuclear cataract was higher in subjects with high myopia with increasing AXL when compared with other types of cataract (P <0.001). In all the age groups, the nuclear density was significantly higher than grade 3 in subjects with high myopia when compared to those with emmetropia (P < 0.001 in <70 years of age, P = 0.003 in >70 years of age).
Conclusion
Nuclear cataract was strongly associated with high axial myopia. The density of the cataract was higher in the high myopia group. No association was observed between PSC or cortical cataract and high axial myopia.
doi:10.1016/j.ajo.2007.07.043
PMCID: PMC2199267  PMID: 17936714

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