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Johanna Maria Colijn, Gabrielle HS Buitendijk, Magda A. Meester, Johannes R Vingerling, Albert Hofman, Caroline C W Klaver; The prevalence of Age-related Macular Degeneration in Europe. The E3 Consortium. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):11.
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© 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the major causes of blindness in the Western world. We studied the prevalence of Early and Late AMD in the European Eye Epidemiology consortium (E3), which includes studies from all over Europe that have been performed during the past 20 years.
The population-based prospective cohorts of E3 collected epidemiologic eye data in the time period 1990 to 2013. The current analysis included 12 studies from Estonia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Spain. All persons aged at least 40+ years underwent ophthalmic examination including best-corrected visual acuity and fundus photography (n=41,398, 43% male). The Rotterdam Classification, a modification of WARMGS, was used to grade Early and Late AMD. A random effects meta-analysis was used to calculate the prevalence of Early and Late AMD in Europe stratified for age, gender, geographical location and the time period in which the study was performed.
The prevalence of AMD varied widely among studies. The mean prevalence of Early AMD was 5% (95%CI 3.29-6.78) for ages 55-64 years; 9.2% (95%CI 7.37-11.04) for 65-74 years; 14.2% (95%CI 11.3-17.05) for 75-84 years; and 17.4 (95% CI 13.29-21.56) for those aged 85+ years. The prevalence of Late AMD was 0.1% (95%CI 0.03-0.14); 0.7% (95%CI 0.41-1.02); 3.6% (95%CI 2.53-4.64); and 9.5% (95%CI 5.79-13.26) for these age groups, respectively. We found no statistically significant associations for gender, time period of the study or geographic location.
The prevalence of AMD in the E3 consortium is comparable with studies performed in European ethnicities elsewhere in the world, such as in the USA and Australia. It is higher than in Asians. The prevalence varied considerably, but could not be explained by geographic location per se. Apart from study characteristics, this can be due to local differences in awareness campaigns for beneficial lifestyle, intake of AREDS supplements and smoking habits. Our prevalence figures show that AMD remains a significant public health problem among Europeans and adequate counteractions continue to be needed.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.
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