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Type: Journal article
Title: Trends in the prevalence of trachoma, South Australia, 1976 to 1990
Author: Stocks, N.
Hiller, J.
Newland, H.
McGilchrist, C.
Citation: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 1996; 20(4):375-381
Issue Date: 1996
ISSN: 1326-0200
Abstract: The eye health of rural Aboriginal Australians is known to be poor. Over the past 20 years, Aboriginal communities in remote parts of Australia have had increasing access to eye health services through the National Trachoma and Eye Health Program (NTEHP). Using published and unpublished data, we examined trends in the prevalence of inflammatory trachoma in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara of South Australia. Comparisons using a generalised linear model of surveys in 1976, 1985 and 1990 indicate that there has been a significant reduction in the age-standardised prevalence of inflammatory trachoma in 0- to 20-year-olds. When the 1990 survey was compared with 1976 interim report data from the NTEHP survey, the odds of inflammatory trachoma in 1990 were 0.25 (95 per cent confidence interval (CI) 0.18 to 0.35). When the comparison was with data from the NTEHP survey of the Red Centre, the odds of follicular trachoma in 1990 were 0.51 (CI 0.42 to 0.62), and in comparison with the 1985 NTEHP review data, the odds of inflammatory trachoma in 1990 were 0.28 (CI 0.20 to 0.39). In the older age groups (20 and over), an increase in the prevalence of inflammatory trachoma was found. Although significant, the increase affected a small proportion of the population and may have been because of difficulty in standardising the trachoma grading between surveys, or systematic grading error in the 1990 survey. This study therefore shows that the eye health of Aboriginal people in Central Australia may be improving. The decline in trachoma is welcome and may be caused by improvements in socioeconomic conditions, community development and increasing access to medical care.
Keywords: Humans
Linear Models
Cross-Sectional Studies
Research Design
Middle Aged
Child, Preschool
Infant, Newborn
South Australia
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-842X.1996.tb01049.x
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