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Jochen Graw, Gerhard Welzl, Nafees Ahmad, Norman Klopp, Margit Heier, Andrea Wulff, Joachim Heinrich, Angela Döring, Stefan Karrasch, Dennis Nowak, Holger Schulz, Wolfgang Rathmann, Thomas Illig, Annette Peters, Rolf Holle, Christa Meisinger, H. Erich Wichmann; The KORA Eye Study: A Population-Based Study on Eye Diseases in Southern Germany (KORA F4). Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(10):7778-7786. doi: 10.1167/iovs.10-7113.
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The population-based KORA (Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg [Germany]) study was used to evaluate the prevalence of eye diseases and potential interactions with general health status, laboratory data, medication, and genetic background.
In all, 2593 probands, ranging in age from 32 to 71 years (mean: 52 years), were asked in a standardized interview for the presence of cataracts, glaucoma, and corneal or retinal disorders; positive answers were validated and specified by treating ophthalmologists. Additional data came from a questionnaire or from laboratory data.
We validated 10 probands with corneal diseases (validation rate: 32%), 26 with retinal diseases (validation rate: 60%), 40 with glaucoma (validation rate: 75%), and 100 participants with cataracts (validation rate: 88%). Glaucoma was significantly associated with increasing age, diabetes and its treatment, and the use of drugs in airway diseases. Cataracts were significantly associated with increasing age, female sex, hypertension, and diabetes. In females, cataracts were particularly associated with the use of ophthalmological corticosteroids, some antihypertensives, and antidiabetics. In contrast, cataracts in males were associated only with the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. We also tested some polymorphic markers; two (GJA8, CRYBB3) were significantly associated with cataracts.
Self-reported ocular diagnoses by questionnaire showed varying degrees of accuracy; this method of data collection is valid, providing confirmation is obtained from treating ophthalmologists. It revealed a similar profile of major risk factors for cataracts (age, female sex, and diabetes) in Germany like that of other international studies. The reported associations between medical treatment and genetic polymorphisms in early-onset cataract merit further functional study.
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