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Archivos de PrevenciónVision problems causing and not causing visual impairment in a working population of Catalonia

Laura Guisasola, Ricard Tresserras, Anna Rius, Adriana López-Dóriga and Elisabeth Purtí.

Objectives. To analyze the distribution of visual problems which cause and do not cause visual impairment in a working population, and their relation to social class.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of 86,831 employed workers (59,397 men, and 27,421 women) in Catalonia ages 16 to 65 years who, in 2009, underwent health surveillance exams at the Asepeyo Health Prevention. The prevalence of visual problems that cause and do not cause visual impairment was calculated by age, sex and occupational social class, and associations were analyzed using logistic regression.

Results: 2.2% (95%CI 2.1-2.3) of the active working population studied had vision problems that cause visual impairment, even while wearing corrective lenses. After adjusting for age, workers in Class V show a 2.4-fold greater risk of visual impairment than those in Class I.

Conclusions: Women, older workers and disadvantaged social groups showed the highest prevalence and risk of visual impairment. Conversely, problems resolved by vision correction that do not cause visual impairment are concentrated in non-manual workers.

Revista M Clínica

Prevalence and burden of visual impairment in Catalonia, Spain

Laura Guisasola, Ricard Tresserras-Gaju, Irene García-Subirats, Anna Rius and Pilar Brugulat-Guiteras

The aim of this work is to determine the prevalence of visual impairment in Catalonia and analyze inequalities in vision. Cross sectional study in the population having 15 years of age (7,881 men and 8,045 women) based on data from the Encuesta de Salud de Cataluña 2006. Logistic regression models were used to calculate the adjusted odds ratio by age, civil state, level of studies, income and working situation with a confidence interval (CI) of 95%. A 4.7% (CI 95% 4.4-5.0) of the population of Catalonia, a 5.3% of female (CI 95% 4.8-5.8), and 4.1% of men (CI 95% 3.7-4.5) state that they have poor vision. The most unfavourable situations of self-reported poor vision by the Catalan population correspond to the elderly and women  with lower levels of both studies and income.

OphtalmologyVisual Impairment and Blindness in Spanish Adults. Geographic Inequalities Are Not Explained by Age or Education

Anna Rius, Lucía Artazcoz, Laura Guisasola, Joan Benach

Objectives: The objectives of this study were to examine for the first time the prevalence of visual impairment and blindness among adults in Spain, to explore regional differences, and to assess whether they may vary as a function of sex or be explained by age and individual or regional socioeconomic position. Design: Data were obtained from the 2008 Spanish Survey on Disability, Personal Autonomy, and Dependency Situations, a cross-sectional survey based on a representative sample of the noninstitutionalized population of Spain. Participants: The sample was composed of 213 626 participants aged 15 years (103 093 men and 110 533 women); 360 were blind (160 men and 200 women), 4048 had near visual impairment (1397 men and 2651 women), and 4034 had distance visual impairment (1445 men and 2589 women). Methods: The prevalence of near and distance visual impairment was calculated for each region. Multiple logistic regression models were fitted to calculate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals. All analyses were stratified by sex. Main Outcome Measures: Visual impairment was based on 3 questions aimed at identifying blindness and near and distance visual impairment. Results: The prevalence (percentage) of blindness was 0.17 (men, 0.16; women, 0.18): 1.89 for near visual impairment (men, 1.36; women, 2.40), 1.89 for distance visual impairment (men, 1.40; women, 2.34), and 2.43 for any visual impairment (men, 1.81; women, 3.02). Regional inequalities in the prevalence of visual impairment were observed, correlated with regional income, and the prevalence was consistently higher among women than men. The magnitude of the inequalities remained after adjusting for age and educational level, and a north-to-south pattern of increasing prevalence was observed. Conclusions: Regional and sex inequalities in the prevalence of visual impairment and blindness were observed in Spain, with a north-to-south gradient of increasing prevalence that was not explained by age or individual educational level but was correlated with regional level of economic development. Factors that could be prioritized for future policies and research include differential regional economic development, rural environment, quality of eye care services, diabetes, ultraviolet light exposure, or gender inequalities in diagnostic and therapeutic health care.

informe savim autores.jpgSAVIM (World Visual Attention System)

The goal of this regional research is to obtain a diagnosis of eye health describing the health and socioeconomic  context, gender relations and the demands on eye health. At the same time it provides an analysis of the population’s access to eye care services by identifying constraints and the design and implementation of an accessibility matrix. This study establishes strategic lines of intervention that will guide the actions of the Chair and the participating actors involved.  To date we have released 3 reports.





Ull pedreraStudy of social inequalities and vision in Spain

In coordination with the Departament of Health of the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Public Health Agency of Barcelona (ASPB) and the Research Group in Health Inequalities (GREDS-UPF) the Chair develops research on inequality -socioeconomic, labor, geographic and gender-associated with poor vision and blindness. These investigations are posed as a response to the fact that visual health has been scarcely treated from the standpoint of public health, which has led to an important absence of data regarding the incidences and prevalences, both for refractive error and eye disease.

Encuentros para la reducción de las desigualdades en salud visual y cegueraMeetings for the reduction of inequalities in visual health and blindness

The project is implemented by a consortium of the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness-Vision 2020 Latin America, the Unidad Nacional de Oftalmología and the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala (USAC) and the Universidad Católica de Asunción and the Fundación Visión of Paraguay.  It consists in organizing meetings to establish an observatory to develop epidemiological research in Guatemala and Paraguay that contributes to the generation of health policies and which fits policies to the specific needs of women, indigenous people, regions without access and the most vulnerable population. The project works health education, health policy and strengthens education policy and teacher training.  It responds to two processes of research-action conducted by institutions of the consortium.



estudio de defectos refractivos en preescolaresStudy of prevalence of refractive error in preschool children from El Salvador

The UNESCO Chair has a database of over 6,000 pre-school children screened and reviewed from 2006 to 2010 in El Salvador.  By analyzing these data, the study aims to assess the prevalence of poor vision and blindness among children of between 4 to 6 years, and refractive errors and pathologies associated with such poor vision.





Determinación de la tasa de utilización de gafas en escolares de Latinoamérica (nuevo tamaño)Determination of the rate of use of glasses by Latin American school children

This research consists of the development of a questionnaire and a protocol for determining the rate of use of spectacles by school children in Latin America.  This study responds to the request received by the CUSVD at the Latin American Forum on Refractive Error Paraguay 2009 which determined the main lines of work in Latin America for refractive error, creating the Multidisciplinary Group of Experts on Refractive Error in Latin America (GEMERAL), which the Chair forms a part of.

Capacitación equipos evaluación rápida de ceguera evitableRapid assessment of avoidable blindness

This research consists of developing a quick survey that will provide data on the prevalence and causes of blindness (cataract, refractive errors, glaucoma...)  in people over 50 years old in El Salvador. It also evaluates cataract surgical coverage and identifies the main barriers to demand for cataract surgery, among other benefits. The data from this research is useful to design and monitor programs for eye health care. It is worth noting that the Ministry of Health, PAHO/WHO Latin America, IAPB VISION 2020 LA and FUDEM are working jointly on this project.

Investigación baja visión Colombia 2Low Vision Research Colombia

The main purpose of this research is the determination of the conditions of potential access to low vision health services in Colombia, in the municipalities of Medellín, Pereira, Barranquilla, Cali, Bucaramanga, Bogota and Popayan. This research is currently underway at the stage of finalizing the fieldwork. A process that, among other things, has allowed the construction of a network of actors for the visually impaired visibility and generating a strategic framework for tackling low vision in this country.