Clinical Investigation of Prevalence and Associated Factors of Visual Disability among the Elderly Agricultural and Fishing Population in Taiwan: Experience at a Teaching Hospital Pages 17-23

Hsi-Che Shen1-3, Jorn-Hon Liu4,5, Yi-Chun Hu1,2,6, Yu-Fen Chen7-9 and Tao-Hsin Tung4,10,11

1New Taipei City Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan; 2Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan; 3Department of Healthcare Management, Yuanpei University, Hsinchu, Taiwan; 4Cheng Hsin General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan; 5Faculty of Medicine, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan; 6Oriental Institute of Technology, Taipei, Taiwan; 7Business Place Hygiene Management, Department of Health, Taipei City Government, Taipei, Taiwan; 8Institute of Health and Welfare Policy, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan; 9Department of Nursing, Kang-Ning Junior College of Medical Care and Management, Taipei, Taiwan; 10Faculty of Public Health, School of Medicine, Fu-Jen Catholic University, Taipei, Taiwan; 11Department of Crime Prevention and Correction, Central Police University, Taoyuan, Taiwan



Abstract: Purpose: To discuss the prevalence and associated factors related to visual impairment and blindness amongst the elderly agricultural and fishing population. Methods: A total of 6542 healthy elderly adults voluntarily admitted to a teaching hospital for a physical check-up and eye disease in Taipei, Taiwan. Results: The overall prevalence of visual disability (the better eye visual acuity <0.5) was 13.2%, including 12.8% of visual impairment and 0.4% of blindness. From the logistic regression, the significantly independent factors of visual disability (visual impairment plus blindness) were sex (male vs. female, OR=0.68, 95%CI: 0.55-0.85), age (65-74 yrs vs. 60-64 yrs, OR=1.49, 95%CI: 1.18-1.89, 75-84 yrs vs. 60-64 yrs, OR=2.77, 95%CI: 2.11-3.65, ³85 yrs vs. 65-69 yrs, OR=4.76, 95%CI: 3.55-6.39), glaucoma (OR=1.51, 95%CI: 1.02-2.23), corneal diseases (OR=2.27, 95%CI: 1.69-3.05), myopic or diabetic retinopathy (OR=1.77, 95%CI: 1.29-2.42), age-related macular degeneration (OR=3.78, 95%CI: 2.36-6.05), and cataract (OR=3.22, 95%CI: 2.50-4.16). Conclusions: Our results revealed that visual impairment and blindness are important visual health problems in elderly agricultural and fishing population. Age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, corneal diseases, myopic or diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, female, and increased age were the leading causes for the visual disability. Further organized preventive strategies to eye care are recommended in this sub-population.

Keywords: Visual disability, visual impairment, blindness, prevalence, elderly.