Evidence for a considerable decrease in total and cause-specific incidences of blindness in Germany
BACKGROUND Registered data can provide valuable information regarding blindness. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the main causes and 3-year incidence of registered blindness in Jing-An district in Shanghai, China. METHODS Data from the blindness registry (age, gender and cause of visual disability) were collected and analyzed. The prevalence of blindness for 2003, 2007, 2009 and the 3-year incidence of blindness were calculated. RESULTS The reported blindness increased significantly from 113.7 per 100,000 in 2003 to 145.8 per 100,000 in 2006 to 165.9 per 100,000 in 2009 (P < 0.05, P < 0.05, respectively). Age significantly affects prevalence; the odd ratios (OR) were 2.57 in the 30 y - 49 y range (P < 0.001), 7.27 in the 50 y - 69 y range (P < 0.001) and 21.2 in the ≥ 70 y (P < 0.001). The 3-year incidence increased from 32.3 per 100,000 in 2001-2003 to 34.2 per 100,000 in 2004-2006 to 40.8 per 100,000 in 2007-2009. The causes of new blindness registered in 2001-2009 were myopic macular degeneration (19.4%), followed by glaucoma (17.7%), age-related macular degeneration (11.8%), optical nerve atrophy (9.4%), retinitis pigmentosa (8.6%), diabetic retinopathy (7.8%) and corneal opacity (5.8%). CONCLUSIONS The 3-year incidence and prevalence of registered blindness increased in the past 9 years. The leading causes of new blindness were myopic macular degeneration, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. The pattern of causes has changed little in the past 9 years and is different from other locations in China. The pattern is similar to that of Taiwan, Hongkong, and Western countries.