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Christian Wolfram, Alireza Mirshahi, Rene Hoehn, Max Adler, Ulrike B. Kottler, Philipp Wild, Stefan Blankenberg, Norbert Pfeiffer; The Prevalence of Refractive Errors in Germany - Results from the Gutenberg Health Study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):2312. doi: https://doi.org/.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To evaluate the distribution of refractive errors in a large German sample.
The Gutenberg Health Survey (GHS) is a population-based, prospective, observational single-center study in the Rhein-Main-Region in midwestern Germany with a total of about 15000 participants and follow-up after five years. The study sample is recruited from subjects aged between 35 and 74 years at the time of the examination. Participants undergo a standardized protocol with a comprehensive questionnaire, a general cardiovascular and ophthalmic examination, which includes slitlamp biomicroscopy, non-contact tonometry, fundus photography, central corneal thickness measurement and visual field testing. Refractive errors were determined by an automatic refraction device Humphrey® HARK 599™) with the following definitions: myopia < -0.5 diopters (D), hyperopia > +0.5 D, astigmatism >0.5 cylinder D and anisometropia: >1.0 D difference in spherical equivalent between the eyes. Exclusion criteria were previous cataract or refractive surgery.
9316 subjects were evaluable. Errors ranged from -21.5 to +13.88 spherical diopters. Myopia was present in 34.6%, hyperopia in 33.0%, astigmatism in 32.3% and anisometropia in 13.2% and ranged up to 20 D. The prevalence of myopia decreased with age, the prevalence of hyperopia (as well as astigmatism and anisometropia) increased with age. Myopia was more common in men and hyperopia in women. 2.8% of the study sample had no refractive correction for their ametropia defined as hyperopia >+0.5 D or myopia <-0.5 D.
Refractive errors affect the majority of this sample. The GHS-Eye survey sample is more myopic than samples in other epidemiological studies. This randomly selected sample will provide substantial epidemiologic data including age-associated changes in refractive error upon recall after 5 years time.
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