High prevalence of refractive errors in a rural population: ‘Nooravaran Salamat’ Mobile Eye Clinic experience

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The prevalence of myopia and hyperopia and determinants were determined in a rural population of Iran.


Population-based cross-sectional study.


Using random cluster sampling, 13 of the 83 villages of Khaf County in the north east of Iran were selected. Data from 2001 people over the age of 15 years were analysed.


Visual acuity measurement, non-cycloplegic refraction and eye examinations were done at the Mobile Eye Clinic.

Main Outcome Measures:

The prevalence of myopia and hyperopia based on spherical equivalent worse than −0.5 dioptre and +0.5 dioptre, respectively.


The prevalence of myopia, hyperopia and anisometropia in the total study sample was 28% (95% confidence interval: 25.9–30.2), 19.2% (95% confidence interval: 17.3–21.1), and 11.5% (95% confidence interval: 10.0–13.1), respectively. In the over 40 population, the prevalence of myopia and hyperopia was 32.5% (95% confidence interval: 28.9–36.1) and 27.9% (95% confidence interval: 24.5–31.3), respectively. In the multiple regression model for this group, myopia strongly correlated with cataract (odds ratio = 1.98 and 95% confidence interval: 1.33–2.93), and hyperopia only correlated with age (P < 0.001). The prevalence of high myopia and high hyperopia was 1.5% and 4.6%. In the multiple regression model, anisometropia significantly correlated with age (odds ratio = 1.04) and cataract (odds ratio = 5.2) (P < 0.001).


The prevalence of myopia and anisometropia was higher than that in previous studies in urban population of Iran, especially in the elderly. Cataract was the only variable that correlated with myopia and anisometropia.

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