April 2014
Volume 55, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2014
Vision Impairment and Blindness due to Age-Related and other Macular Degenerations Globally: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jill Keeffe
    L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India
  • Jost B Jonas
    Ophthalmology, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany
  • Rupert Bourne
    Vision and Eye Research Unit, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambrodge, United Kingdom
  • Tien Y Wong
    Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore, Singapore
  • Janet L Leasher
    Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Kovin Shunmugam Naidoo
    African Vision Research Institute, University of Kwazulu Natal, Durban, South Africa
  • Holly Price
    Vision and Eye Research Institute, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • Seth R Flaxman
    School of Computer Science and Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Serge Resnikoff
    Brien Holden Vision Institute, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  • Hugh R Taylor
    Melbourne School of Population and International Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Jill Keeffe, None; Jost Jonas, None; Rupert Bourne, None; Tien Wong, None; Janet Leasher, None; Kovin Naidoo, None; Holly Price, None; Seth Flaxman, None; Serge Resnikoff, None; Hugh Taylor, None
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2014, Vol.55, 6083. doi:
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      Jill Keeffe, Jost B Jonas, Rupert Bourne, Tien Y Wong, Janet L Leasher, Kovin Shunmugam Naidoo, Holly Price, Seth R Flaxman, Serge Resnikoff, Hugh R Taylor, Global Burden of Disease Vision Loss Expert Group; Vision Impairment and Blindness due to Age-Related and other Macular Degenerations Globally: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):6083.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose: To estimate the prevalence and number of people vision impaired or blind due to age-related (AMD) and other macular degenerations (MD)

Methods: Based on the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 and an ongoing literature search, we estimated how many people were affected by moderate and severe vision impairment (MSVI; presenting visual acuity <6/18, ≥3/60) and blindness (presenting visual acuity <3/60) due to MD. Change between 1990 and 2010 was calculated.

Results: In 2010, out of a total of 32.4 million blind and 191 million vision impaired, 2.1 million (95% uncertainty intervals (UI): 1.9, 2.7) people were blind, and 6.0 million (UI: 5.2, 8.1) million were visually impaired due to macular degeneration. MD caused worldwide 6.6% (UI: 6.0, 7.9) of all blindness in 2010 and 3.1% (UI: 2.7, 4.0) of all MSVI. These proportions were lower in regions with younger populations (<3% in South Asia) than in high-income regions with relatively old populations (>15%). From 1990 to 2010, the number of people blind or MSVI due to MD increased by 0.6 million people (UI: 0.5, 0.8) or 36% and by 2.7 million (UI: 2.6, 3.9) people or 81%, respectively. Age-standardized global prevalence of MD related blindness in adults aged 50+ years decreased from 0.2% (UI: 0.2, 0.2) in 1990 to 0.1% (UI: 0.1, 0.2) in 2010, and MSVI remained unchanged at 0.4% (UI: 0.3,0.5 in 1990 and UI: 0.4, 0.6 in 2010). The percentage of global blindness and MSVI caused by MD increased from 4.9% (UI: 4.4, 5.8) to 6.6%, and from 1.9% (UI: 1.6, 2.4) to 3.1%, respectively. This increase took place in most world regions, except Western Europe and high-income North America with stable figures. MD caused 7.3% (UI: 6.4, 8.9%) of blindness among women vs. 5.5% (UI: 4.8, 6.8%) of blindness among men. One out 15 people are blind and one out of 32 people with MSVI have vision loss due to MD.

Conclusions: In 2010 the prevalence of blindness was lower and MSVI stable compared to rates in 1990 but the numbers of people were higher with increases of 36% and 81% for blindness and MSVI respectively. The lower or stable prevalence of MD blindness and MSVI may be due to the therapeutic success of intra-vitreal medications whilst the higher numbers due to the increase in life expectancy over the period. The percentage of blindness and MSVI from MD was higher in high-income regions with relatively older populations.

Keywords: 463 clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: prevalence/incidence • 412 age-related macular degeneration  

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