Global, regional, and national prevalence, disability adjusted life years, and time trends for refraction disorders, 1990–2019: findings from the global burden of disease study 2019

Refraction disorders affect a large proportion of the global population, and is the major cause of visual impairment and second cause of blindness. This study evaluates this global burden, assessing myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism, using data from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study 2019 and World Bank Open Data 2019. The analysis covers years, age groups, regions, gender, socioeconomic status, and other national characteristics. Globally, age-standardized disability-adjusted life year (DALY) rates for refraction disorders decreased from 1990 to 2019 and are predicted to continue decreasing until 2050. Health burden is associated with older age, female gender, and lower socioeconomic status. Gender inequality is found across age groups and socioeconomic regions. The importance of public health policies and interventions to address the preventable burden of refraction disorders is emphasized. Vision loss due to these disorders affects a significant portion of the global population, impacting education, productivity, and overall quality of life. Findings underscore the need for increased attention to eye care services, especially in younger age groups and lower socioeconomic regions, to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and eliminate avoidable blindness.

Publication date

September 6, 2021


BMC Public Health

Sponsor Institution

The Capital Health Research and Development of Special; Science & Technology Project of Beijing Municipal Science & Technology Commission; the Beijing Municipal Administration of Hospitals’ Ascent Plan


He-Yan Li; Yue-Ming Liu; Li Dong; Rui-Heng Zhang; Wen-Da Zhou; Hao-Tian Wu; Yi-Fan Li; Ya-Xing Wang; Wen-Bin Wei
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