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Visual impairment among weaving communities in Prakasam district in South India



Visual impairment among weaving communities in Prakasam district in South India



Plos One 8(2): E55924



To assess the prevalence and causes of visual impairment in weaving communities in Prakasam district in South India state of Andhra Pradesh. Using Rapid Assessment of Visual Impairment (RAVI) methodology, a population based cross-sectional study was conducted. A two-stage sampling strategy was used to select 3000 participants aged ≥40 years. Visual Acuity (VA) was assessed using a tumbling E chart and ocular examinations were performed by trained Para medical ophthalmic personnel. A questionnaire was used to collect personal and demographic information. Blindness and moderate Visual Impairment (VI) was defined as presenting VA <6/60 and <6/18 to 6/60 respectively. VI included blindness and moderate VI. 2848 of 3000 enumerated subjects (94.0%) participated. 39% were in 40-49 years age group and 11.8% were aged ≥70 years, 55% were women and nearly half of them had no formal education. 400 (14%; 95% CI: 12.8-15.3) subjects had VI, including blindness in 131 (4.6%; 95% CI: 3.8-5.4) and moderate VI in 269 (9.4%; 95% CI: 8.3-10.5) individuals. On applying multiple logistic regression, VI was significantly associated with older age and no formal education. Though the odds of having VI were higher in females, it was of borderline statistical significance (p = 0.06). Refractive error was the leading cause of all VI followed by cataract (56%). However, refractive errors were the leading cause of moderate VI (73.2%) and cataract was the leading cause of blindness (62.6%). 'Cannot afford the cost of services' was the leading barrier for utilization of eye care services (47%). There is a significant burden of VI in weaving communities in Andhra Pradesh, India most of which is avoidable. With this information as baseline, services need to be streamlined to address this burden.

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Accession: 056881263

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PMID: 23409090

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055924


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