September 2016
Volume 57, Issue 12
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
The impact of amblyopia, high myopia and genetic eye diseases for the prevalence of low vision and blindness - results from the Gutenberg Health Study (GHS)
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Christian Wolfram
    Ophthalmology, University Medical Center, Mainz, Germany
  • Rene Hoehn
    Ophthalmology, University Medical Center, Mainz, Germany
    Ophthalmology, Inselspital, Bern, Switzerland
  • Dagmar Laubert-Reh
    Preventive Cardiology and Preventive Medicine / Center for Cardiology, University Medical Center, Mainz, Germany
  • Philipp S Wild
    Preventive Cardiology and Preventive Medicine / Center for Cardiology, University Medical Center, Mainz, Germany
    Center for Thrombosis and Hemostasis (CTH), University Medical Center, Mainz, Germany
  • Norbert Pfeiffer
    Ophthalmology, University Medical Center, Mainz, Germany
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Christian Wolfram, None; Rene Hoehn, None; Dagmar Laubert-Reh, None; Philipp Wild, None; Norbert Pfeiffer, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  The GHS is funded through the Stiftung Rheinland-Pfalz für Innovation, contract No. AZ 961–386261/733, Boehringer Ingelheim and Philips MS
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science September 2016, Vol.57, 1575. doi:
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      Christian Wolfram, Rene Hoehn, Dagmar Laubert-Reh, Philipp S Wild, Norbert Pfeiffer; The impact of amblyopia, high myopia and genetic eye diseases for the prevalence of low vision and blindness - results from the Gutenberg Health Study (GHS). Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):1575.

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      © 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

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Abstract

Purpose : To evaluate amblyopia, high myopia and genetic eye diseases as contributing causes for blindness and low vision in a German adult sample.

Methods : The Gutenberg Health Study (GHS) is a population-based, prospective, observational single-center study in the Rhine-Main-Region in Germany with a total of 15010 participants and follow-up after five years. The study sample is recruited from subjects aged between 35 and 74 years at the time of examination. At baseline, participants underwent a standardized protocol with a general cardiovascular and ophthalmic examination, which included slitlamp biomicroscopy, non-contact tonometry, fundus photography, central corneal thickness measurement and visual field testing. According to WHO-criteria, low vision was defined by visual acuity (VA) in the better eye between less than 0.3 and better than 0.1, and blindness by VA of 0.1 or less. We determined the frequency of amblyopia, high myopia or genetic diseases among visually handicapped or blind subjects.

Results : 14.687 subjects were evaluable. Low vision was prevalent in 0.23% (34 subjects), blindness in 0.16% (24 subjects), within the oldest age group of 65-74 years in 0.49% and 0.30% respectively. The prevalence of low vision and blindness was higher in women than in men (0.29% vs. 0.18% and 0.19% vs. 0.13% respectively).
In cases of low vision amblyopia was present in 44.1%, high myopia in 14.7% and genetic diseases in
5.9%. Among the blind subjects, high myopia and genetic diseases were each found in 20.8%, amblyopia in 4.3%.

Conclusions : In contrast to previous findings from registries, this population-based study reveals that amblyopia, high myopia, and genetic diseases have a more important influence on the prevalence of low vision and blindness than was thought before. These relevant pathologic conditions should not be neglected for the prevention of blindness.

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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