Clinical Research on the Leading Causes of Severe Sight Impairment in the UK General and Working Populations.
Liu WJ., Taylor LJ., MacLaren RE., Jolly JK.
PURPOSE: Clinical research brings the potential of improved diagnostics, sight-saving treatments, and more accessible services to those suffering with severe sight impairment (SSI). This report investigates whether registered ophthalmology clinical studies address the leading causes of SSI in the general and working populations of the United Kingdom (UK). METHODS: The latest statistics on the leading causes of SSI in the UK general and working populations were identified by searching PubMed, Cochrane Library, and TRIP databases. Clinical study registries were searched to identify registered clinical studies (on or prior to 1st December 2022) on the leading causes of SSI. The relationship between the number of clinical studies on leading causes of SSI and the percentage of SSI certifications they account for was analyzed. RESULTS: In the UK general population, the number of registered clinical studies on the leading causes of SSI is statistically significantly correlated (Spearman's rho = 0.86, p < 0.01) with the percentage of SSI certifications they account for. However, there is no correlation between the two in the UK working population (aged 16-64) (Spearman's rho = 0.15, p = 0.70). Eye conditions accounting for the most SSI certifications in individuals of working age have significantly less clinical research activity than those that cause the most SSI certifications in the general population. Out of the leading causes of SSI certifications studied, disorders of the visual cortex and congenital anomalies of the eye have the least clinical research activity. CONCLUSION: Clinical research into the leading causes of SSI in the general population is essential. However, it is important to consider eye conditions that cause the most severe visual impairment in individuals of working age due to the significant health and socioeconomic implications of sight loss in this population.