Date: 07 Dec 2005

Frequency of under-corrected refractive errors in elderly Chinese in Beijing

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The aim of the study was to evaluate the prevalence of under-corrected refractive error among elderly Chinese in the Beijing area.


The population-based, cross-sectional, cohort study comprised 4,439 subjects out of 5,324 subjects asked to participate (response rate 83.4%) with an age of 40+ years. It was divided into a rural part [1,973 (44.4%) subjects] and an urban part [2,466 (55.6%) subjects]. Habitual and best-corrected visual acuity was measured. Under-corrected refractive error was defined as an improvement in visual acuity of the better eye of at least two lines with best possible refractive correction.


The rate of under-corrected refractive error was 19.4% (95% confidence interval, 18.2, 20.6). In a multiple regression analysis, prevalence and size of under-corrected refractive error in the better eye was significantly associated with lower level of education (P<0.001), female gender (P<0.001), and age (P=0.001).


Under-correction of refractive error is relatively common among elderly Chinese in the Beijing area when compared with data from other populations.