Research Article

Demand incidence and episode rates of ophthalmic disease in a defined urban population.

BMJ 1992; 305 doi: (Published 17 October 1992) Cite this as: BMJ 1992;305:933
  1. J. H. Sheldrick,
  2. S. A. Vernon,
  3. A. Wilson,
  4. S. J. Read
  1. Department of General Practice, University of Nottingham.


    OBJECTIVES--To estimate demand incidence and episode rates of ophthalmic disease in a defined urban population over one year. DESIGN--Study of patients presenting with eye problems to general practice and eye casualty department. SETTING--General practice and ophthalmic services in west Nottingham. SUBJECTS--36,018 people from the combined practice lists of 17 Nottingham general practitioners. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Ophthalmic disorder, age and sex of patient, and where presented. RESULTS--587 consultations were recorded for ophthalmic problems, 1771 with general practitioners and 816 with eye casualty. Most consultations to general practice were by females (1066 (60%)), whereas men aged 15-44 accounted for most work in eye casualty. These men commonly presented with trauma. Infective conjunctivitis, the commonest condition, had an episode rate of 13.5/1000 population/year. Demand incidence for cataracts was 1.9/1000 population/year. Demand incidence for chronic conditions increased with age. CONCLUSIONS--As the average age of the population increases demand for ophthalmic services will rise. Planning and provision of resources to meet this increased demand should be considered now.