Journal List > J Korean Ophthalmol Soc > v.54(1) > 1009670

Rim, Park, and Kim: Epidemiological Sur vey Regarding Cataract Awareness in Korea: KNHANES IV



To identify cataract awareness in the Korean population.


The present study included 3,662 subjects who were diagnosed with a cataract by ophthalmic examination out of 11,058 subjects in the fourth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES IV). Among the 3,662 participants, 944 were aware that they already had a cataract. The sociodemographic disparities in cataract awareness were identified using multivariate analysis.


The mean age of the study population was 65.6 years (standard deviation, 0.2). The awareness calculated based on total weighted population was 24.6% in people over 19 years of age (95% confidence interval, 22.5–26.6%). In multivariate logistic analysis, subjects with higher income, living in a rural area, having a spouse, and binge alcohol use were less likely to be aware of their cataract. In multivariate linear regression analysis after adjusting for confounding factors, there were statistically significant differences of mean in age and monthly house income. Deajeon (11%), and Gwangju (16%) were the lower ranked regions for cataract awareness in Korea.


The cataract awareness in Korea was lower than in other developed countries. Public education and strategies to improve cataract awareness in susceptible people are necessary. More effort is needed to improve cataract awareness based on the Korean society's acceptance of ophthalmologists as in other countries.


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Figure 1.
Unadjusted and adjusted mean of cataract awareness for adjusting confounding factors including age, sex, income, education, residential area, lifetime smoker, and binge alcohol user. When we consider one variable as an independent variable, we adjust other confounding factors except that variable. For example, to calculate adjusted mean of cataract awareness between age groups, we adjusted all confounding factors but age. * p < 0.05 in multivariate linear regression.
Figure 2.
Unadjusted mean of cataract awareness according to regions. * The capital city of South Korea.
Table 1.
Characteristic of study population (n = 3,662)
    Number Percentage (%)
Total subjects were diagnosed with cataract   3,662 100
Responded with “known as a cataract” No 2,718 74.0
  Yes 944 25.7
Sociodemographic & behavioral risk factors      
   Age (yrs) 19–39 65 1.8
     40–64 1,434 39.2
     65- 2,163 59.1
   Sex Male 1,533 41.9
     Female 2,129 58.1
   Monthly house income Lowest quintile 1,320 36.7
     2nd–4th quintile 1,824 50.7
     Highest quintile 455 12.6
   Education Middle school or lower 2,714 74.7
     High school or higher 921 25.3
   Residential area Urban 2,256 61.6
     Rural 1,406 38.4
   Spouse With 2,566 71.3
     Without 1,035 28.7
   Life time smoker No 2,196 60.4
     Yes 1,443 39.7
   Binge alcohol user No 2,893 79.2
     Yes 760 20.8
Table 2.
Factors associated with cataract awareness (n = 3,662)
    Multivariate OR 95% CI p-value
Age (yrs) 19–39 1.0 (ref)    
  40–64 0.6 (0.3 – 1.4) 0.25
  65- 1.6 (0.8 – 3.5) 0.21
Sex Male 1.0 (ref)    
  Female 1.0 (0.8 – 1.3) 0.95
Monthly house income Lowest quintile 1.0 (ref)    
  2nd–4th quintile 0.8 (0.7 – 1.0) <0.05
  Highest quintile 0.7 (0.5 – 0.9) <0.05
Education Middle school or lower 1.0 (ref)    
  High school or higher 1.0 (0.8 – 1.3) 0.77
Residential area Urban 1.0 (ref)    
  Rural 0.8 (0.7 – 1.0) <0.05
Spouse With 1.0 (ref)    
  Without 1.2 (1.0 – 1.5) <0.05
Life time smoker No 1.0 (ref)    
  Yes 0.8 (0.7 – 1.0) 0.12
Binge alcohol user No 1.0 (ref)    
  Yes 0.8 (0.6 – 1.0) <0.05

OR = odds ratio.

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