Common ophthalmic problems of urban and rural postmenopausal women in a population sample of Raciborz district, a RAC-OST-POL Study

Jacek Karpe 5,  
Department and Clinic of Ophthalmology, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
Department of Pathomorphology, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
Department of Nephrology, Raciborz, Poland
Department and Clinic of Internal Diseases, Diabetology and Nephrology, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Medical University of Silesia, Poland
KCR S.A., Warsaw, Poland
Department and Clinic of Internal Diseases, Diabetology and Nephrology, Metabolic Bone Diseases Unit, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med 2014;21(1):70–74
Introduction and objective. We wished to establish the prevalence of eye diseases and eye disease risk factors at postmenopausal age and to compare ophthalmic problems in urban and rural areas of Raciborz. Patients and methods. The study was performed in 2010. Out of the whole population of Raciborz, Poland, 10 percent (1750) of women were randomly selected for the reported study. Finally, ocular diseases, ophthalmic agents, health status (physical activity level, body mass index – BMI, reproductive history, the use of psychotropic drugs and hormone replacement therapy – HRT) were recorded in 623 women. The women underwent visual acuity test and anterior segment examination, applanation tonometry and indirect ophthalmoscopy. Results. The mean age of the selected patients was 66.01±7.76 years, 275 (44%) of them originating from rural and 348 (56%) from urban regions. The average woman was obese (BMI=30.54±5.38 kg/m2), with near normal agility and reproductive history of 2.59±1.55 births, 147 (24%) subjects remained under regular HRT support. According to the WHO, the visual acuity was classified as normal or near normal in 87.5%, while no blindness was recorded at all. Visual acuity depended, first of all, on lens status and was better among subjects with good agility (R=-0.31, p=0.001). Dry eye prevalence increased significantly over age of 67 years (p=0.000) and HRT seemed to be a dry eye protective factor (p=0.010). Except age, No other risk factors of cataract, other than age, were identified. Normal agility (p=0.003) and HRT (p=0.032) were associated with lower AMD (age-related macular degeneration) prevalence rates. The differences between urban and rural participants were presented only in education, reproductive history, hypertension and frequency of ophthalmic examinations. Conclusions. Older adult women living in neighboring urban and rural areas present no differential in ophthalmic health problems.