DOI: 10.1177/11206721241238878 ISSN: 1120-6721

Burdens and trends of blindness and vision loss among those aged 55 years and older: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019

Congling Zhao, Qiang Ding, Zhikuan Yang
  • Ophthalmology
  • General Medicine


To systematically analysis the burden and trends of blindness and vision loss for those aged ≥55 years from 1990 to 2019 and to predict trends over the next few years.


The data were extracted from the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) 2019. Trends from 1990 to 2019 were calculated using average annual percentage change (AAPC) by joinpoint regression analysis. Bayesian age-period-cohort (BAPC) models were used to predict future trends.


In 2019, the global prevalence of blindness and vision loss was 471.1 million with 15.9 million disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for those aged ≥55 years. These numbers will reach 640.3 million cases and 18.9 million DALYs in 2030. The prevalence rate (per 100,000 population) increased from 32,137.8 (95% uncertainty interval [UI], 26,307.9–39,246.3) in 1990 to 33,509 (95% UI, 27,435.5–40,996.2) in 2019, with an AAPC of 0.143 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.125–0.161; P < 0.001). The DALY rate (per 100,000 population) decreased from 632.9 (95% UI, 447.7–870.9) in 1990 to 579.3 (95% UI, 405.2–803.4) in 2019, with an AAPC of −0.293 (95% CI, −0.323–[-]0.263). Although the prevalence rates of cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and near vision loss showed increasing trends from 1990 to 2019, the DALY rates indicated a downward trend for all blindness-causing diseases. The burden is heavier for women and in low Socio-demographic Index (SDI) regions.


Despite a decline from 2001 to 2019, the burden of blindness and vision loss, measured by prevalence and DALYs, continues to rise after adjusting for population growth and aging. Blindness and vision loss are significant public health burdens, especially for women and in low-SDI regions.

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