Document Type

Brief Communication


A nationwide cross-sectional survey designed to determine the distribution and determinants of blindness in the kingdom of Nepal was conducted in 1980-81. Ophthalmologic exams were conducted on nearly 40,000 individuals, 10,237 of whom were lifetime residents of rural villages and aged 30 or older. The prevalence of cataract in this age group was 7.0%. Multiple logistic regression analyses conducted on those aged 30 or older indicated a positive association of cataract with female gender, vegetarianism, and Brahman caste. Among males, sunlight exposure, as measured by average annual sunlight hours, was found to be significantly associ­ated with the presence of cataract. The association with sunlight was weaker in females, but altitude of the site was found to be significantly negatively associated with cataract.