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Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology
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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 175-181

The prevalence of astigmatism and its determinants in a rural population of Iran: The "Nooravaran Salamat" mobile eye clinic experience

1 Noor Ophthalmology Research Center, Noor Eye Hospital, Tehran, Iran
2 Department of Optometry, School of Paramedical Sciences, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
3 Department of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
4 Department of Medicine, Dezful University of Medical Sciences, Dezful, Iran
5 Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Public Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Mehdi Khabazkhoob
Department of Epidemiology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran
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Source of Support: Noor Ophthalmology Research Center, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-9233.129772

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Purpose: The prevalence of astigmatism, and the astigmatic axis, and their determinants were evaluated in a rural population of Iran. Materials and Methods: In a cross-sectional study conducted from May to August 2011, 13 villages in the vicinity of the city of Khaf in northeast Iran were investigated in this study. All the examinations including visual acuity, refraction, slit-lamp biomicroscopy and fundoscopy were performed in a Mobile Eye Clinic. Written informed consent was obtained from all participants. Only phakic eye that could be reliably refracted without a previous history of ocular surgery were included. Results: Out of 2635 participants who were screened, 2124 were analysed for this study of whom 52% were female. The prevalence of astigmatism was 32.2% (95% confidence intervals (CI): 30.2-34.2). Astigmatism significantly increased from 14.3% in the under 15-year-old age group to 67.2% in the age group of over 65-years old (P < 0.001). The prevalence of With-The-Rule (WTR), Against-The-Rule (ATR), and oblique astigmatism was 11.7%, 18.1%, and 2.4 %, respectively. ATR significantly increased with age (P < 0.001). The mean corneal astigmatism was 0.73 D which linearly increased with age (P < 0.001). Conclusion: Attention must be paid to astigmatism in rural areas due to the high prevalence. Further studies are suggested to discover the role of the environmental and genetic factors. It seems that environmental and occupational factors in the villages cause a significant increase in the prevalence of astigmatism with age. A high percentage of participants had ATR astigmatism, which was more common at older ages.

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