To determine the magnitude of vitreoretinal disorders in a rural southernIndian population.
Cluster sampling was used to identify individuals 40 years and olderin Tamil Nadu in southern India. Demographic details, vision measurement andrefraction using logMAR charts, anterior segment slitlamp examination, dilatedposterior segment slitlamp examination using a 78-diopter (D) lens, and indirectophthalmoscopy using a 20-D lens were performed.
Complete retinal data were available for 4917 (95.5%) of the 5150 personsexamined. The prevalence of any vitreoretinal disorder was 10.4% (95% confidenceinterval [CI], 9.5%-11.3%). The population prevalence of bilateral blindnessamong persons with vitreoretinal disorders was 0.3% (95% CI, 0.2%-0.5%). Theprevalence of diabetic retinopathy was 0.5% (95% CI, 0.3%-0.7%) in the generalpopulation and 10.5% (95% CI, 6.5%-14.5%) in patients with diabetes mellitus.Only 6.7% of individuals with diabetic retinopathy had previous ophthalmicexaminations. The prevalences of early and late age-related macular degenerationwere 2.7% (95% CI, 2.2%-3.2%) and 0.6% (95% CI, 0.4%-0.8%), respectively.
Vitreoretinal diseases appear to be a major public health problem inIndia. Emphasis on diabetic screening, diabetic therapy, and appropriate lasertherapy of diabetic retinopathy must be explored.