A new study conducted by researchers from Anglia Ruskin University in the U.K. says there are an estimated 36 million people globally who are blind, and that number is set to grow to almost 115 million by 2050, with the greatest burden occurring in developing countries in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
Researchers also found there are currently 217 million people globally with moderate to severe vision impairment, and their forecast predicts that number could climb to 588 million in 2050.
The study reportedly analyzed the prevalence of blindness and vision impairment in 188 countries between 1990 and 2015, as well as providing projections for 2020 and 2050. The researchers estimate that global blindness crude prevalence declined from 0.75 percent in 1990 to 0.48 percent in 2015, while the rate of moderate to severe vision impairment reduced from 3.83 percent to 2.90 percent. However, as the aging population continues to grow and age, the number of people affected has increased globally.
According to researchers, their estimates highlight the need to scale up efforts to alleviate vision impairment to help improve quality of life, and educational and economic opportunities globally.
The study was recently published in The Lancet Global Health.
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