Correctable visual impairment in an elderly Chinese population in Taiwan: The Shihpai eye study

Tung Mei Kuang, Su Ying Tsai, Wen-Ming Hsu, Ching Yu Cheng, Jorn Hon Liu, Pesus Chou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE. To investigate the prevalence and risk factors of correctable visual impairment and the quality of life of persons with correctable visual impairment in a metropolitan senior population. METHODS. The study was a community-based, cross-sectional survey of vision and eye diseases among noninstitutionalized subjects aged 65 years and older in the Shihpai community of Taipei, Taiwan. The study consisted of a structured questionnaire followed by a comprehensive standardized ophthalmic examination included presenting and best corrected visual acuity, tonometry, slit lamp biomicroscopy, and direct and indirect ophthalmoscopy. RESULTS. A total of 1361 subjects (response rate, 66.6%) participated in both completion of the questionnaire and ophthalmic examination. The prevalence of correctable visual impairment (presenting visual acuity in the better eye <6/12 that improved to no impairment [≥6/12] after refractive correction) was 9.55% (95% confidence interval [CI], 7.97%-11.13%). Under multiple logistic regression analysis, older age (≥75 years; odds ratio [OR], 2.41; 95% CI, 1.56-3.70) and nonemmetropic eyes (myopia; OR, 6.80; 95% CI, 3.77-12.77 vs. hyperopia; OR, 2.13; 95% CI, 1.29-3.51) were significantly related to correctable visual impairment. A higher level of education (OR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.32-0.83) and wearing distance eyeglasses during the eye examination (OR, 0.23; 95% CI, 0.12-0.43) were protective factors for correctable visual impairment. Subjects with correctable visual impairment scored significantly lower in the physical functioning dimension of the SF-36 questionnaire (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS. The results demonstrate that approximately 10% of the senior population in the Shihpai district has a correctable visual impairment. Thus, it is important to educate the public about the importance of regular examination and the possibility of improving visual acuity by wearing glasses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1032-1037
Number of pages6
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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