Trends in Prevalence of Blindness and Distance and Near Vision Impairment Over 30 Years and Contribution to the Global Burden of Disease in 2020
45 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2020More...
Background: The Vision Loss Expert Group and Global Burden of Disease Study have extensively updated estimates of global vision loss burden in 2020, temporal changeover 3 decades and forecasts for 2050.
Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted of population-based datasets relevant to vision impairment (VI) from January 1980 to October 2018. Hierarchical models were fitted to estimate 2020 prevalence (with 95% uncertainty intervals, UI) of (1) mild VI (presenting visual acuity [PVA] <6/12 to 6/18), moderate to severe VI (MSVI; PVA <6/18 to 3/60), blindness (PVA <3/60); and (2) VI from uncorrected presbyopia (presenting near vision distance visual acuity >6/12).
Findings: In 2020, an estimated 43.2 million (95% UI: 37.5-48.2 million; 55% female) people were blind, 295.3 (95% UI 267.0-325.5) million had MSVI, 257.3 (95% UI 232.2-284.7) million had mild VI, and 507.4 million (95% UI 369.3–663.8) were VI from uncorrected presbyopia. Globally among adults aged ≥50 years, age-standardised prevalence of blindness reduced by 29% between 1990 and 2020, while MSVI increased slightly (+2.4%). The number of blind people increased by 50.2% and MSVI by 91.6%. By 2050, we predict 895.5 million people blind/VI.
Interpretation: It is encouraging that age-adjusted prevalence of blindness has reduced over the past 3 decades, yet due to population growth progress is not keeping pace with needs. We face enormous challenges in avoiding vision impairment as the global population grows and ages.
Funding Statement: Brien Holden Vision Institute. Fondation Thea. Fred Hollows Foundation. Gates Foundation. Sightsavers International. University of Heidelberg.
Declaration of Interests: A.M. Bron, Allergan (C) Baush and Lomb (C), Santen (C), Théa (C) - (C) stands for consultant.
J Kempen: Consultant (DSMC Chair) for Gilead. Grants and contracts from National Institutes of Health/National Eye Institute; Sight for Souls; and Christoffel Blindenmission.
No other authors had conflicts to declare.
Keywords: Global Burden of Disease Study; Vision loss expert group; Vision loss; Blindness; Vision impairment; Refractive error; Cataract; Glaucoma; Macular degeneration; Epidemiology.
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