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Are worldwide albinism prevalence figures an accurate reflection? An incidental finding from a Northern Ireland study
  1. Natasha Healey1,2,3,
  2. Eibhlin McLoone2,
  3. Kathryn J Saunders1,
  4. A Jonathan Jackson2,4,
  5. Julie F McClelland1
  1. 1Vision Science Research Group, University of Ulster, School of Biomedical Sciences, Coleraine, UK
  2. 2Ophthalmology Department, The Royal Group of Hospitals, Belfast, UK
  3. 3Ophthalmology Department, Altnagelvin Area Hospital, Altnagelvin, UK
  4. 4National Vision Research Institute/Australian College of Optometrists, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Natasha Healey, Altnagelvin Area Hospital, Optometry Clinic 5, Ophthalmology Department, Outpatients, Glenshane Road, Londonderry BT47 6SB, UK; healeynatasha{at}

Statistics from

Person et al,1 and Witkop et al,2 suggest global prevalence figures for albinism of 1 in 20 000 and 1 in 17 000, respectively. Person et al's1 figure is widely quoted in the literature but it is unclear how it was derived. Grønskov et al,3 investigated birth prevalence and mutation spectrum in Danish patients with autosomal recessive albinism suggesting a minimum birth prevalence of 1 in 14 000. Similarly Froggatt4 had investigated the occurrence of albinism in Northern Ireland (NI) in 1960 and reported a prevalence of 1 in 10 000. Clearly there are discrepancies in the literature in terms of the prevalence of albinism.

The Northern Ireland Nystagmus and Albinism study

A 3 year study investigating the visual and refractive profile of a population of children and adults with albinism (and control group with nystagmus) took place …

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