Background: To estimate the prevalence and causes of blindness and low vision among adults aged ≥40 years in Fiji.
Design: Population-based cross-sectional study.
Participants: Adults aged ≥40 years in Viti Levu, Fiji.
Method: A population-based cross-sectional survey used multistage cluster random sampling to identify 34 clusters of 40 people. A cause of vision loss was determined for each eye with presenting vision worse than 6/18.
Main Outcome Measures: Blindness (better eye presenting vision worse than 6/60), low vision (better eye presenting vision worse than 6/18, but 6/60 or better).
Results: Of 1892 people enumerated, 1381 participated (73.0%). Adjusting sample data for ethnicity, gender, age and domicile, the prevalence of blindness was 2.6% (95% confidence interval 1.7, 3.4) and low vision was 7.2% (95% confidence interval 5.9, 8.6) among adults aged ≥40 years. On multivariate analysis, being ≥70 years was a risk factor for blindness, but ethnicity, gender and urban/rural domicile were not. Being Indo-Fijian, female and older were risk factors for vision impairment (better eye presenting vision worse than 6/18). Cataract was the most common cause of bilateral blindness (71.1%). Among participants with low vision, uncorrected refractive error caused 63.3% and cataract was responsible for 25.0%.
Conclusion: Strategies that provide accessible cataract and refractive error services producing good quality outcomes will likely have the greatest impact on reducing vision impairment.