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Awareness of eye conditions aids health promotion activities and leads to better outcomes. We examined factors influencing the lack of awareness of common eye conditions in a population. The Singapore Malay Eye Study examined 3280 (78.7% response) Malays aged 40-80 years. We included 2112 (64.4%) participants with at least one of five eye conditions: 1504 (71.2%) with cataract, 1013 (47.8%) with myopia, 270 (12.8%) with diabetic retinopathy, 181 (8.6%) with age-related macular degeneration and 150 (7.1%) with glaucoma. Lack of awareness was defined in the questionnaire as not answering "yes" to previously being told by a doctor of having the eye condition. Among 2112 participants, 83.2% were unaware of at least one of their eye conditions. After controlling for age, sex and socioeconomic factors, participants unaware of their eye condition were older (odds ratio, OR, 1.03, per 1 year, p < 0.001), had better visual acuity (OR 1.32, p = 0.04), lower education (OR 1.89, p < 0.001), poorer literacy (OR 1.44, p = 0.02), lower income (OR 1.73, p = 0.009), higher blood glucose (OR 1.08, per 1 mmol/L, p < 0.001), higher serum cholesterol (OR 1.20, per 1 mmol/L, p = 0.003), lower annual eye examination attendance (OR 2.08, p < 0.001) and were less likely to wear glasses (OR 2.90, p < 0.001) than those who were aware of their condition. In this community-based population, 80% of those with common eye conditions were unaware of their condition.


Olivia S Huang, Yingfeng Zheng, Wan Ting Tay, Peggy Pei-Chia Chiang, Ecosse L Lamoureux, Tien Y Wong. Lack of awareness of common eye conditions in the community. Ophthalmic epidemiology. 2013;20(1):52-60

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PMID: 23350556

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