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This article is the author’s final published version in Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, Volume 69, Issue 12, December 2021, Pages 3618 - 3622.

The published version is available at Copyright © Wolters Kluwer Medknow Publications. All rights reserved.


Purpose: To study the prevalence of systemic conditions in older adults, either self-reported or discovered during routine eye examinations, at multitier eye-care facilities over the past decade, and to explore their association with vision and common ocular disorders, including cataract, glaucoma, and retinopathy.

Methods: Retrospective review of a large data set compiled from the electronic medical records of patients older than 60 years who presented to an eye facility of a multitier ophthalmology network located in 200 different geographical locations that included urban and rural eye-care centers spread across four states in India over a 10-year period.

Results: 618,096 subjects aged 60 or older were identified as visiting an eye facility over the 10-year study period. The mean age of the study individuals was 67·28 (±6·14) years. A majority of older adults (66·96%) reported being free of systemic illnesses. Patients from lower socioeconomic status had a lower prevalence of chronic systemic disease, but the presenting vision was poorer. Hypertension (21·62%) and diabetes (18·77%) were the most commonly reported chronic conditions in patients who had concomitant systemic illness with visual concerns.

Conclusion: The prevalence of chronic systemic illnesses in older adults presenting to multitier eye-care facilities is relatively low, except in those with diabetic retinopathy. These observations suggest a need to include active screening for common chronic diseases in standalone eye-care facilities to achieve a more accurate assessment of chronic disease burden in the older population.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

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