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Nationwide incidence of blindness in South Korea: a 12-year study from 2002 to 2013

 Tyler Hyungtaek Rim  ;  Dong Wook Kim  ;  Eun Jee Chung  ;  Sung Soo Kim 
 Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology, Vol.45(8) : 773-778, 2017 
Journal Title
 Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology 
Issue Date
Adolescent ; Adult ; Age Distribution ; Aged ; Aged, 80 and over ; Blindness/epidemiology* ; Blindness/physiopathology ; Blindness/rehabilitation Child ; Child, Preschool ; Disability Evaluation ; Female ; Follow-Up Studies ; Forecasting* ; Humans ; Incidence ; Infant ; Infant, Newborn ; Male ; Middle Aged ; Population Surveillance/methods* ; Prevalence ; Public Health* ; Registries* ; Republic of Korea/epidemiology ; Retrospective Studies ; Sex Distribution ; Socioeconomic Factors ; Visual Acuity* ; Visually Impaired Persons/statistics & numerical data* ; Young Adult
blindness ; epidemiology ; incidence
IMPORTANCE: Blindness is an important public health issue. BACKGROUND: The background of the study is to determine the incidence of blindness in South Korea. DESIGN: Nationwide population-based retrospective study. PARTICIPANTS: All individuals from South Korea (n = 47 516 098). METHODS: Patients confirmed with legal blindness based on the worse-seeing and better-seeing eyes between 1 January 2002 and 31 December 2013 were included. The Korean National Health Insurance Service (KNHIS) database was used. Using the World Health Organization definition, blindness was defined as best-corrected visual acuity in the worse-seeing and better-seeing eyes of <20/400. The mean incidence of blindness during the 12-year period was estimated. The population of South Korea was estimated using census data in 2005 and 2010. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The total number of legal blindness cases in the KNHIS database. RESULTS: We identified 195 004 and 20 492 cases of newly developed legal blindness based on the worse-seeing and better-seeing eyes, respectively, and the mean incidences of blindness were 34.2 and 3.6 cases/100 000 person-years, respectively. The prevalence of blindness based on the worse-seeing and better-seeing eyes was 425.3 and 57.7 cases/100 000 persons, respectively. The incidence of blindness based on the worse-seeing eye was higher in men than in women overall. Additionally, the incidence increased with age and showed a decreasing trend from 2002 to 2013. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: The prevalence of blindness showed an increasing trend from 2002 to 2013. The findings of our study will help in the assessment of the blindness-related socio-economic burden and in healthcare planning.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Ophthalmology (안과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kim, Sung Soo(김성수) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0574-7993
Rim, Tyler Hyungtaek(임형택)
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