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    Eye diseases take increased toll in Ukraine


    The number of people recognised per year as disabled by POAG grew from 96 in 2008 to 129 in 2012, then declined to 77 in 2014. The number of people with other kinds of glaucoma increased from 113 to 151 in 2012, then dropped to 94 in 2014.

    In each year, some of the people in the sample were identified as disabled for the first time, whereas others had previously been recognised for this condition. Over the 7 years studied, 1334 people were identified as disabled for the first time. The proportion recognised for the first time was highest in 2012 (18.55%) and 2013 (18.87%), compared with only 2.58% in 2008 and 15.29% in 2014.

    Similarly, in 2008 only 2.08% were recognised for the first time as disabled as a result of POAG, and in 2014 this percentage increased to 31.17%.

    The fact that more than 90% of the people recognised with disabilities each year had previously been recognised indicates the "long duration, complexity and lack of effectiveness in medical, occupational, social and in-home rehabilitation," according to Dr Kryvoviaz.

    Also, she noted an increasing number of people have been categorised as permanently disabled, which discourages rehabilitation efforts.

    Among the disabled people with POAG, 19.86% were senior and 17.16% were classified as "senile."

    Three-quarters of the people in the study were male, and they accounted for at least 70% of each of the subgroups.

    The proportion of people whose disabilities were severe also increased over time, suggesting deterioration in the quality of diagnostics and screening.

    About 26.59% of this cohort of visually disabled people and one-sixth of the people disabled with POAG were employed. Dr Kryvoviaz speculates there were not enough jobs that matched their work history. More vocational rehabilitation is needed for this population, she wrote.

    Among working-age people with POAG, the rate of disability decreased from 70.83% in 2008 to 50.79% in 2011, before increasing to 58.44% in 2014. Over the course of the observation period, the average was 61.70%.

    "The findings indicate a lack of modern science-based approaches to diagnostics, rehabilitation, medical and social examination of patients with [ophthalmologic] pathologies, thus stipulating further [detailed] study of this problem," Dr Kryvoviaz concluded.

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