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    Eye diseases take increased toll in Ukraine

    A growing number of people in Ukraine are becoming visually disabled due to eye disease, according to researchers.

    "The issue of proper follow-up, early diagnostics and implementation of appropriate therapeutic and preventive measures in POAG [primary open-angle glaucoma] subjects requires special attention from the governmental authorities," reports Olena Kryvoviaz, head of the pharmacy department, Vinnytsia National Pyrohov Memorial Medical University, Vinnytsia, Ukraine. Her results are presented in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology.

    Previous research has shown the prevalence of disability due to eye diseases has tripled in the past decade, Dr Kryvoviaz found vision-related disability is taking a toll on society because of its effects on labour and education, she wrote.

    Glaucoma plays an important part in the problem, and not enough attention is being given to prevention, timely diagnosis and treatment, she said.

    To compare the structure and trends of disability caused by glaucoma and other vision-related disorders, Dr Kryvoviaz sampled data from medical documents and the MSEK (Physical Disability Board of Review) statistics for the Vinnytsia region of Ukraine. Trends in the region correlate well to nationwide data, she said.

    From 2008 to 2014, the proportion of people who were disabled as a result eye diseases other than glaucoma increased from 2.58% to 15.29%, and averaged 7.05% over the 7 years. The proportion of people with POAG who were disabled increased from 2.08% to 31.71% over this period, averaging 9.99%.

    For the year 2008, Dr Kryvoviaz found that 1742 individuals were classified as disabled due to eye diseases other than glaucoma. That number grew to 2144 in 2011 before dipping again to 1807 in 2013, then climbing once more to 1969 in 2014.

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