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Thesis

A longitudinal refractive error study of the Republic of Moldova

1 December 2003

Abstract

The Republic of Moldova is located in southeastern Europe, on the northern border of Romania and the southwest border of the Ukraine. Moldova is composed of 4.5 million people of which, two-thirds are ethnic Moldovans. The remaining one-third of the population is made-up of people of Russian, Ukrainian, Gagauz, or Turkish decent. Over one-half of the population lives in rural communities and nearly the entire remaining portion resides in the capital of Chisinau (Kishinev). Our study was designed to take a cross-section of Moldovan individuals and assess their refractive error findings. Our test population numbered over 2400 individuals, allowing the study a fair amount of accuracy when extrapolating the data to represent the entire Moldovan population. Although refractive error trends followed expected patterns within respective age groups, the overall refractive error pattern showed a larger than normal hyperopic tendency. This tendency can be shown to be attributed to the large number of individuals over the age of 41. It is because of the hyperopic shift in the over 40 population that the mean of the data appears hyperopic


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