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Type: Journal article
Title: Visual acuity in an Australian Aboriginal population
Author: Hiller, J.
Stocks, N.
Newland, H.
Citation: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Ophthalmology, 1997; 25(2):125-131
Issue Date: 1997
ISSN: 0814-9763
Abstract: BACKGROUND:Australia is a developed country. However, Aboriginal Australians have rates of blindness comparable to Third World countries. There have been well-funded eye health programs for 15 years in Central Australia. This paper examines if there has been an improvement in visual disability of one traditional group of Aboriginal Australians. METHODS:Results from an eye health survey of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara of South Australia in 1990 are presented. These data are compared with results for 'blindness' and 'poor vision' from a national survey undertaken in 1976. The two surveys were comparable in design, both were cross-sectional population-based prevalence surveys. Prevalence rates were adjusted for the size of the source population. RESULTS:Young rural Aboriginal Australians have good visual acuity. Low vision and blindness (WHO definitions) occur in 19.6% and 10.4% of 60+ year olds, respectively. Women were more likely than men to be blind or have low vision (OR = 1.93; 1.06-3.58). There was a decline in 'poor vision' between surveys (OR = 2.86; 1.86-4.75) but not in 'blindness'. CONCLUSION:Although there has been a reduction in the prevalence of visual disability in rural Aboriginal Australians, improvements in the provision of eye care for the elderly need to occur.
Keywords: Humans; Vision Disorders; Blindness; Prevalence; Retrospective Studies; Age Distribution; Visual Acuity; Adolescent; Adult; Middle Aged; Child; Child, Preschool; Infant; Infant, Newborn; Oceanic Ancestry Group; Australia; Female; Male
RMID: 0030006425
DOI: 10.1111/j.1442-9071.1997.tb01293.x
Appears in Collections:Public Health publications

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