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Eye clinic attendance at the olympic and paralympic games Rio 2016 and its correlation to the WHO indicators on eye health
  1. Arthur Gustavo Fernandes1,
  2. Andrew Bastawrous2,
  3. Nívea Nunes Ferraz1,
  4. Benjamin Hennig3,
  5. Vagner Loduca Lima4,5,
  6. Rodrigo Galvao Viana5,
  7. Mauro Campos1,5,
  8. João Marcello Furtado6
  1. 1Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Federal University of Sao Paulo Paulista Medical School, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  2. 2International Centre for Eye Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK
  3. 3Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland
  4. 4Ophthalmology, Faculdade de Medicina do ABC, Santo Andre, Brazil
  5. 5Instituto Verter, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  6. 6Ophthalmology, Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Universidade de São Paulo Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto, Ribeirao Preto, Brazil
  1. Correspondence to Dr Arthur Gustavo Fernandes, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Federal University of Sao Paulo Paulista Medical School, Sao Paulo 04023-900, Brazil; arthur_abz{at}


Objectives To evaluate athletes’ frequency of attendance at the eye clinic during the Olympic and Paralympic Games Rio 2016 and to correlate it to WHO core indicators on progress in ophthalmology care in a country.

Methods Frequencies of athletes’ attendance at the eye clinic were calculated for each country. Countries were classified according to the World Bank income levels in high, upper-middle, low-middle or low-income country. Data on ophthalmology care for each country were derived from the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness atlas. Data were analysed in view of WHO indicators for each country: visual impairment prevalence considering presenting visual acuity <6/18 to ≥3/60 in the better vision eye; number of ophthalmologists per million people and the cataract surgical rate per year, per million population.

Results The athletes’ overall frequency of attendance in the eye clinic was 6.47%. Frequencies of attendance for high, upper-middle, low-middle or low-income country were 1.97%, 9.66%, 16.54% and 22.43%, respectively. A positive correlation was observed between the athletes’ attendance frequency of a country and its visual impairment prevalence (r=0.2290, p=0.0017). A negative correlation was observed between the athletes’ attendance frequency of a country and its eye health workforce (r=−0.2152, p=0.0026).

Conclusion Countries with highest athletes’ frequencies of attendance were those that face barriers to eye care provision. These results reinforce the importance of the eye clinic service during the Olympic and Paralympic Games proving access to specialised care to athletes and members of delegation.

  • athlete
  • eye
  • IOC
  • public health
  • olympics

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  • Contributors All the authors met the conditions stated at the ICMJErecommendations for authorship credit.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval The study protocol was approved by the Committee on Ethics in Research of the Fundação do ABC – FMABC (##18978619.3.0000.0082) and followed the Declaration of Helsinki.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available.