Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Epidemiological Surveillance of Eye Disease and People Awareness in the Abruzzo Region, Italy

Version 1 : Received: 15 July 2021 / Approved: 16 July 2021 / Online: 16 July 2021 (14:36:36 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Mastropasqua, L.; D’Aloisio, R.; Mastrocola, A.; Perna, F.; Cerino, L.; Cerbara, L.; Cruciani, F.; Toto, L. Epidemiological Surveillance of Eye Disease and People Awareness in the Abruzzo Region, Italy. Medicina 2021, 57, 978. Mastropasqua, L.; D’Aloisio, R.; Mastrocola, A.; Perna, F.; Cerino, L.; Cerbara, L.; Cruciani, F.; Toto, L. Epidemiological Surveillance of Eye Disease and People Awareness in the Abruzzo Region, Italy. Medicina 2021, 57, 978.

Journal reference: Medicina 2021, 57, 978
DOI: 10.3390/medicina57090978

Abstract

Background and Objectives: Vision impairments and related blindness are major public health problems. Prevalence of eye disease and barriers to optimal care markedly vary among different geographic areas. In the Abruzzo region (Central Italy), an epidemiological surveillance on the state of ocular health in the population aged over 50 years was performed in 2019. Materials and Methods: Participants were sampled to be representative of the region inhabitants. Data were collected through a telephone interview and an eye examination. Prevalence of cataract, glaucoma, retinopathy, maculopathy was assessed. The Cohen’s kappa (k) was used to measure the agreement between presence of eye disease and awareness of the disease by the participants. Results: Overall, 983 people with mean age of 66.0±9.5 years were included in the study. The prevalence of cataract, glaucoma, maculopathy, and retinopathy was 52.6%, 5.3%, 5.6%, and 29.1%, respectively. Among the total of affected people, those aware of their condition were 21.8% (k=0.12, slight agreement) for cataract, 65.4% (k=0.78, substantial agreement) for glaucoma, 7.1% (k=0.10, slight agreement) for maculopathy, and 0% for retinopathy (k=-0.004, agreement lower than that expected by chance). Refractive defects were corrected in the vast majority of participants. Conclusion: In the Abruzzo region, about two third of citizens aged 50 years or over suffer from cataract, glaucoma, retinopathy or maculopathy, which are recognized as leading causes of blindness. Many people with eye disease do not know they have it. These data can be used by clinicians and policymakers to undertake clinical, political, and social actions.

Keywords

Population screening; eye disease; prevalence; awareness

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