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1.  Elimination of avoidable blindness due to cataract: Where do we prioritize and how should we monitor this decade? 
Indian Journal of Ophthalmology  2012;60(5):438-445.
Background:
In the final push toward the elimination of avoidable blindness, cataract occupies a position of eminence for the success of the Right to Sight initiative.
Aims:
Review existing situation and assess what monitoring indicators may be useful to chart progress towards attaining the goals of Vision 2020.
Settings and Design:
Review of published papers from low and middle income countries since 2000.
Materials and Methods:
Published population-based data on prevalence of cataract blindness/visual impairment were accessed and prevalence of cataract blindness/visual impairment computed, where not reported. Data on prevalence of cataract blindness, cataract surgical coverage at different visual acuity cut offs, surgical outcomes, and prevalence of cataract surgery were analyzed. Scatter plots were used to look at relationships of some variables, with Human Development Index (HDI) rank. Available data on Cataract Surgical Rate (CSR) was plotted against prevalence of cataract surgery reported from surveys.
Results:
Worse HDI Ranks were associated with higher prevalence of cataract blindness. Most studies showed that a significant proportion of the blind were covered by surgery, while a fifth showed that a significant proportion, were operated before they went blind. A good visual outcome after surgery was positively correlated with higher surgical coverage. CSR was positively correlated with cataract surgical coverage.
Conclusions:
Cataract surgical coverage is increasing in most countries at vision <3/60 and visual outcomes after cataract surgery are improving. Establishing population-based surveillance of cataract surgical need and performance is a strong monitoring tool and will help program planners immensely.
doi:10.4103/0301-4738.100545
PMCID: PMC3491272  PMID: 22944756
Blindness; cataract extraction; cataract; coverage; data aggregation; population; prevalence; visual impairment
2.  Cataract, Visual Impairment and Long-Term Mortality in a Rural Cohort in India: The Andhra Pradesh Eye Disease Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e78002.
Background
A large-scale prevalence survey of blindness and visual impairment (The Andhra Pradesh Eye Diseases Study [APEDS1]) was conducted between 1996-2000 on 10,293 individuals of all ages in three rural and one urban clusters in Andhra Pradesh, Southern India. More than a decade later (June 2009-March 2010), APEDS1 participants in rural clusters were traced (termed APEDS2) to determine ocular risk factors for mortality in this longitudinal cohort.
Methods and Findings
Mortality hazard ratio (HR) analysis was performed for those aged >30 years at APEDS1, using Cox proportional hazard regression models to identify associations between ocular exposures and risk of mortality. Blindness and visual impairment (VI) were defined using Indian definitions. 799/4,188 (19.1%) participants had died and 308 (7.3%) had migrated. Mortality was higher in males than females (p<0.001). In multivariable analysis, after adjusting for age, gender, diabetes, hypertension, body mass index, smoking and education status the mortality HR was 1.9 (95% CI: 1.5-2.5) for blindness; 1.4 (95% CI: 1.2-1.7) for VI; 1.8 (95% CI: 1.4-2.3) for pure nuclear cataract, 1.5 (95% CI: 1.1-2.1) for pure cortical cataract; 1.96 (95% CI: 1.6-2.4) for mixed cataract, 2.0 (95% CI: 1.4-2.9) for history of cataract surgery, and 1.58 (95% CI: 1.3-1.9) for any cataract. When all these factors were included in the model, the HRs were attenuated, being 1.5 (95% CI: 1.1-2.0) for blindness and 1.2 (95% CI: 0.9-1.5) for VI. For lens type, the HRs were as follows: pure nuclear cataract, 1.6 (95% CI: 1.3-2.1); pure cortical cataract, 1.5 (95% CI: 1.1-2.1); mixed cataract, 1.8 (95% CI: 1.4-2.2), and history of previous cataract surgery, 1.8 (95% CI: 1.3-2.6).
Conclusions
All types of cataract, history of cataract surgery and VI had an increased risk of mortality that further suggests that these could be potential markers of ageing.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0078002
PMCID: PMC3837009  PMID: 24282482
3.  Prevalence of Cataract in an Older Population in India 
Ophthalmology  2011;118(2-19):272-278.e2.
Purpose
To describe the prevalence of cataract in older people in 2 areas of north and south India.
Design
Population-based, cross-sectional study.
Participants
Randomly sampled villages were enumerated to identify people aged ≥60 years. Of 7518 enumerated people, 78% participated in a hospital-based ophthalmic examination.
Methods
The examination included visual acuity measurement, dilatation, and anterior and posterior segment examination. Digital images of the lens were taken and graded by type and severity of opacity using the Lens Opacity Classification System III (LOCS III).
Main Outcome Measures
Age- and gender-standardized prevalence of cataract and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). We defined type of cataract based on the LOCS III grade in the worse eye of: ≥4 for nuclear cataract, ≥3 for cortical cataract, and ≥2 for posterior subcapsular cataract (PSC). Any unoperated cataract was based on these criteria or ungradable dense opacities. Any cataract was defined as any unoperated or operated cataract.
Results
The prevalence of unoperated cataract in people aged ≥60 was 58% in north India (95% CI, 56–60) and 53% (95% CI, 51–55) in south India (P = 0.01). Nuclear cataract was the most common type: 48% (95% CI, 46–50) in north India and 38% (95% CI, 37–40) in south India (P<0.0001); corresponding figures for PSC were 21% (95% CI, 20–23) and 17% (95% CI, 16–19; P = 0.003), respectively, and for cortical cataract 7.6% (95% CI, 7–9) and 10.2% (95% CI, 9–11; P<0.004). Bilateral aphakia/pseudophakia was slightly higher in the south (15.5%) than in the north (13.2%; P<0.03). The prevalence of any cataracts was similar in north (73.8%) and south India (71.8%). The prevalence of unoperated cataract increased with age and was higher in women than men (odds ratio [OR], 1.8). Aphakia/pseudophakia was also more common in women, either unilateral (OR, 1.2; P<0.02) or bilateral (OR, 1.3; P<0.002).
Conclusions
We found high rates of unoperated cataract in older people in north and south India. Posterior subcapsular cataract was more common than in western studies. Women had higher rates of cataract, which was not explained by differential access to surgery.
Financial Disclosure(s)
The authors have no proprietary or commercial interest in any of the materials discussed in this article.
doi:10.1016/j.ophtha.2010.05.020
PMCID: PMC3146699  PMID: 20801514
4.  Prevalence of Early and Late Age-Related Macular Degeneration in India: The INDEYE Study 
This large, two-center, population-based study provides estimates of the prevalence of age-related macular degeneration in India.
Purpose.
To estimate the prevalence of early and late age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in India.
Methods.
Of 7518 people aged 60 years and older identified from randomly sampled villages in North and South India, 5853 (78%) attended an eye examination including fundus photography. Fundus images were graded according to the Wisconsin Age-Related Maculopathy Grading System.
Results.
Fundus images were ungradable in 1587 people, mainly because of cataract. People 80 years of age and older were less likely to attend the eye examination and more likely to have ungradable images. For ages 60 to 79 years, the percent prevalence (95% confidence interval [CI]) were late AMD 1.2 (0.8–1.5); and early AMD: grade 1 (soft distinct drusen or pigmentary irregularities), 39.3 (37.2–41.5); grade 2 (soft distinct drusen with pigmentary irregularities or soft indistinct or reticular drusen), 6.7 (5.8–7.6); and grade 3 (soft indistinct or reticular drusen with pigmentary irregularities), 0.2 (0.1–0.4). For ages 80 and older, the respective percent prevalence was: late AMD, 2.5 (0.4–4.7); and early AMD: grade 1, 43.1(35.7–50.6); grade 2, 8.1 (4.3–12.0); and grade 3, 0.5 (0–1.5).
Conclusions.
The prevalence of early AMD (grades 1 and 2) is similar to that observed in Western populations, but grade 3 appears to be lower. The prevalence of late AMD is comparable to that in Western populations in the age group 60 to 79 years. It is likely that the prevalence in the 80 and older age group is underestimated.
doi:10.1167/iovs.09-4114
PMCID: PMC2868454  PMID: 19696177
5.  Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness in India 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(8):e2867.
Background
Rapid assessment of avoidable blindness provides valid estimates in a short period of time to assess the magnitude and causes of avoidable blindness. The study determined magnitude and causes of avoidable blindness in India in 2007 among the 50+ population.
Methods and Findings
Sixteen randomly selected districts where blindness surveys were undertaken 7 to 10 years earlier were identified for a follow up survey. Stratified cluster sampling was used and 25 clusters (20 rural and 5 urban) were randomly picked in each district.. After a random start, 100 individuals aged 50+ were enumerated and examined sequentially in each cluster. All those with presenting vision <6/18 were dilated and examined by an ophthalmologist. 42722 individuals aged > = 50 years were enumerated, and 94.7% examined. Based on presenting vision,, 4.4% (95% Confidence Interval[CI]: 4.1,4.8) were severely visually impaired (vision<6/60 to 3/60 in the better eye) and 3.6% (95% CI: 3.3,3.9) were blind (vision<3/60 in the better eye). Prevalence of low vision (<6/18 to 6/60 in the better eye) was 16.8% (95% CI: 16.0,17.5). Prevalence of blindness and severe visual impairment (<6/60 in the better eye) was higher among rural residents (8.2%; 95% CI: 7.9,8.6) compared to urban (7.1%; 95% CI: 5.0, 9.2), among females (9.2%; 95% CI: 8.6,9.8) compared to males (6.5%; 95% CI: 6.0,7.1) and people above 70 years (20.6%; 95% CI: 19.1,22.0) compared to people aged 50–54 years (1.3%; 95% CI: 1.1,1.6). Of all blindness, 88.2% was avoidable. of which 81.9% was due to cataract and 7.1% to uncorrected refractive errors/uncorrected aphakia.
Conclusions
Cataract and refractive errors are major causes of blindness and low vision and control strategies should prioritize them. Most blindness and low vision burden is avoidable.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002867
PMCID: PMC2478719  PMID: 18682738

Results 1-5 (5)