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S. Sanjay, H. Y. Neo, J. Y. Ku, S. Y. M. Chau, A. K. Rostihar, K. G. Au Eong; Awareness of Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Its Risk Factors Among Singapore Residents. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):2109.
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To investigate the awareness of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) among Singapore residents.
Cross-sectional survey. Households were randomly selected from the Singapore phone book residential listings 2005/2006 and one subject from each household was invited to participate in the survey using a structured questionnaire.
520 subjects out of the 796 households contacted agreed to participate (response rate = 65.3%). The mean age (range) of the subjects was 41 (18 to 85) years. The awareness of AMD among the participants was 7.3%. There was increased awareness of AMD with higher education (secondary level and above), age group 31-50 years, and those who had a recent eye examination within the last one-year. Respondents with at least secondary education (n=393) were 18.5 times (95% CI, (confidence interval) 2.3-150.8) more likely to be familiar with AMD than respondents with no or primary education. Respondents in the age group 31 to 50 years (n=225) were 18.9 times (95% CI, 11.3-31.8) mores likely to be familiar with AMD than respondents aged 18-30 and 51-85. Respondents who have had their eyes tested (n=187) within the last one year were 8.8 times (95% CI, 5.5-14.2) more likely to be familiar with AMD than those who have had their eyes tested more than one year ago, or never had them tested. Among respondents who had their eyes tested within the last one-year, 106 (57.6%) were with an optician. Among 105 (20.2%) who never had their eyes tested, 35 (33.1%) cited that they did not have any problem with their eyes. Smoking was considered a risk factor for AMD by 17 (44.7%) of the respondents who were familiar with AMD. Among respondents who were aware of AMD 9 (23.7%) smoked and 6 (75.0%) of them would smoke less or stop completely if they were told that smoking may cause blindness.
The awareness of AMD among Singapore residents is low. Subjects who are more educated, with at least secondary education and who had eye examination within a year are more likely to be aware of AMD.
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