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Prevalence of visual impairment in El Salvador: inequalities in educational level and occupational status
Rius Ulldemolins, Anna; Guisasola València, Laura; Sabidó, Meritxell
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Càtedra UNESCO de Sostenibilitat; Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Departament d'Òptica i Optometria; Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. GRCUV - Grup de Recerca del Centre Universitari de la Visió
OBJECTIVE: To examine the prevalence of blindness, visual impairment, and related eye diseases and conditions among adults in El Salvador, and to explore socioeconomic inequalities in their prevalence by education level and occupational status, stratified by sex. METHODS: Based upon the Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness (RAAB) methodology, this nationwide sample comprised 3 800 participants (3 399 examined) = 50 years old from 76 randomly selected clusters of 50 persons each. The prevalence of blindness, visual impairment and related eye diseases and conditions, including uncorrected refractive error (URE), was calculated for categories of education level and occupational status. Multiple logistic regression models were fitted to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and stratified by sex. RESULTS: Age-adjusted prevalence was 2.4% (95% CI: 2.2-2.6) for blindness (men: 2.8% (95% CI: 2.5-3.1); women: 2.2% (95% CI: 1.9-2.5)) and 11.8% (95% CI: 11.6-12.0) for moderate visual impairment (men: 10.8% (95% CI: 10.5-11.1); women: 12.6% (95% CI: 12.4-12.8)). The proportion of visual impairment due to cataract was 43.8% in men and 33.5% in women. Inverse gradients of socioeconomic inequalities were observed in the prevalence of visual impairment. For example, the age-adjusted OR (AOR) was 3.4 (95% CI: 2.0-6.4) for visual impairment and 4.3 (95% CI: 2.1-10.4) for related URE in illiterate women compared to those with secondary education, and 1.9 (95% CI: 1.1-3.1) in cataract in unemployed men. CONCLUSIONS: Blindness and visual impairment prevalence is high in the El Salvador adult population. The main associated conditions are cataract and URE, two treatable conditions. As socioeconomic and gender inequalities in ocular health may herald discrimination and important barriers to accessing affordable, good-quality, and timely health care services, prioritization of public eye health care and disability policies should be put in place, particularly among women, the unemployed, and uneducated people.
Àrees temàtiques de la UPC::Ciències de la salut::Medicina::Oftalmologia
Àrees temàtiques de la UPC::Ciències de la visió
Eye--Refractive errors
El Salvador
Eye--Care and hygiene
Vision disorders
Eye health
health inequalities
refractive errors
El Salvador
Cataractes (Oftalmologia)
Ulls -- Acomodació i refracció
Salut visual
El Salvador
Visió -- Disfuncions
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Spain

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