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The Burden of Blindness According To Age and Sex In Some Communities In Niger Delta Of Nigeria

CS Ejimadu
EA Awoyesuku


Background: There are differences in the impact of blindness by age and sex; blind males having a higher risk for death than females. The aim of this study was to describe the age and sex difference among the blind in some Niger Delta communities of Nigeria.
Methods: A community based, cross-sectional study was done and age and sex data analyzed for the 19 blind persons seen. A total of 1513 subjects were studied and their ages estimated from historical events or verified from hospital/immunization cards. Ocular examination of subjects included visual acuity, pen torch examination, fundoscopy and applanation tonometry.
Results: A total of 1513 subjects were examined consisting of 754 males and 759 females. Subjects less than 20years accounted for 31.5%, those above 60years accounted for 26.4% while others contributed 42.1%. All the 19 blind persons were over 50years. The difference in age among the blind was statistically significant (p<005). The sex specific prevalence for blindness was 0.79% for males and 1.71% for females. Females were more likely to be blind than males.
Conclusion: The study found blindness to be commoner in older age groups and female gender appeared to be an important risk factor. Eye health education should target the elderly and females more and factors contributing to their vulnerability addressed.

Keywords: Blindness; Age; Sex; Niger Delta; Nigeria