Studying the prevalence of astigmatism and its related factors in underprivileged rural areas in Iran.Methods:
Using random cluster sampling, two rural areas in the north and southwest of Iran were randomly selected, and 3851 persons over 1 year of age were invited to the study. In addition to recording demographics, retinoscopic refraction was conducted using baseline auto-refraction results. The prevalence of astigmatism was determined based on cylinder error cut-off points of 0.50 dioptre (D), 1.00, 2.00 and 3.00 D. Multiple logistic regression was used to assess variables' relationship with astigmatism.Results:
The prevalence of astigmatism as a cylinder error greater than 0.50 D was 35.6% (95% CI: 33.7–37.6); this was 34.0% (95% CI: 31.4–36.6) in women and 36.9% (95% CI: 33.9–39.9) in men. The lowest prevalence was seen in the 6–20 year old age group (13.6%) and the highest prevalence was found in individuals older than 70 years (82.5%). In the multiple logistic regression model, age and education level were significantly related to astigmatism. The prevalence rates of with-the-rule (WTR), against-the-rule (ATR), and oblique astigmatism were respectively 15.0%, 17.2%, and 3.5%. The prevalence of WTR astigmatism decreased with age, while the prevalence of ATR (and oblique astigmatism to a lesser extent) increased.Conclusion:
The prevalence of astigmatism was similar to previous studies; however, there were considerable age-related changes. In particular, the prevalence of astigmatism in elderly people was substantial and of concern, particularly given that virtually none of this age group were wearing distance spectacles.