On visual impairment in Swedish children

Jonas Blohmé

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)


Knowledge of the epidemiology of visual impairment in children forms one of the cornerstones in paediatric ophthalmology. To gain an overview of the situation in Sweden an epidemiological study was performed. Totally 2373 visually impaired children were found, giving an age-specific prevalence of 10,9/10 000. Childhood blindness (i.e. vision <0,05) was seen in 25%. Male/female ratio was 1,20. Additional impairments were present in 60%. Aetiologies were prenatal in 64%, peri-/neonatal in 20%, infantile/juvenile in 7% and unknown in 9%. The most frequent disorders were cerebral visual impairment, non-hereditary optic atrophy, retinal dystrophy (as a general entity), congenital hypoplasia of the optic nerve and congenital cataract.

To produce a pilot-study regarding visual and social outcome, a study from 1980 was revisited. The same inclusion-criteria as in the nation-wide study were used, which reduced the material from initially 219 to 128 individuals. A comparison to the current findings in the larger study showed only minor differences, with the exception of peri-/neonatal aetiologies, which had increased.

At follow-up 59% were still visually impaired, 23% had improved their vision to 0,3 or above, 13% were deceased. All deceased had additional impairments. The best prognosis was found in albinism and congenital nystagmus. Sociologically was found statistically significant lower frequency of living with a partner, while educational level was significantly higher and rate of employment did not differ regarding the persons without further impairments, diagnosed as visually impaired in their youth, compared to an age-specific control group of 3150.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Ophthalmology, Lund
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date2000 Apr 28
ISBN (Print)91-628-4063-0
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 2000-04-28
Time: 10:15
Place: Segerfalkssalen, Wallenberg Neurocenter, Sölvegatan 17, University Hospital of Lund

External reviewer(s)

Name: Fledelius, Hans C.
Title: Dr
Affiliation: Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark


Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Ophthalmology

Free keywords

  • Ophtalmology
  • Sweden
  • sociology
  • mortality
  • outcome
  • epidemiology
  • registration
  • childhood blindness
  • Visual impairment
  • children
  • Oftalmologi


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