Financial disclosure: The authors have no proprietary or financial interest in this study. Partial equipment grants for the study were received from: • Ophthalmic Research Institute of Australia: B & L Lowe Grant • NH & MRC: Centre for Clinical Research Excellence
Prevalence and associations of cataract in indigenous Australians within central Australia: the Central Australian Ocular Health Study
Article first published online: 26 FEB 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists
Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology
Volume 38, Issue 4, pages 387–392, May/June 2010
How to Cite
Landers, J., Henderson, T. and Craig, J. (2010), Prevalence and associations of cataract in indigenous Australians within central Australia: the Central Australian Ocular Health Study. Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology, 38: 387–392. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-9071.2010.02257.x
- Issue published online: 11 JUN 2010
- Article first published online: 26 FEB 2010
- Received 10 August 2009; accepted 12 January 2010.
- Aboriginal Australians;
Purpose: To determine the prevalence and associations of cataract within the indigenous Australian population living in central Australia.
Methods: 1884 individuals aged ≥20 years, living in one of 30 remote communities within the statistical local area of ‘central Australia’ were recruited for this study. This equated to 36% of those aged ≥20 years and 67% of those aged ≥40 years within this district. Slit-lamp examination was performed. The degree and subtype of cataract was graded using the Lens Opacities Classification System III criteria. A cataract was defined as a nuclear opalescence ≥4.0, a cortical opacity ≥3.0, a posterior subcapsular opacity ≥2.0, a visual acuity worse than 6/12 or a visual acuity worse than 6/60 due to cataract. The prevalence of cataract in one or both eyes was presented for each of the definitions.
Results: Nuclear opalescence cataract was present in 13.5% (18.5% of those ≥40 years); cortical opacity cataract was present in 13.1% (17.7% of those ≥40 years); and posterior subcapsular cataract was present in 15.8% (21.0% of those ≥40 years). 12.6% of patients (17.3% of those ≥40 years) and 4.4% of patients (5.9% of those ≥40 years) had a cataract that resulted in a visual acuity of worse than 6/12 and worse than 6/60, respectively. All cataracts were associated with advancing age. Posterior subcapsular cataract was associated with self-reported diabetes.
Conclusion: There is a higher prevalence of cataract among indigenous Australians living within remote central Australia compared with the non-indigenous population. Services for this population need to be designed with this in mind when planning resource allocation.