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S. Piermarocchi, T. Segato, P. Scopa, G. Monterosso, V. Maritan, M. Masetto, F. Cavarzeran, T. Peto, I. Leung, E. Midena; Prevalence of Age-Related Macular Degeneration in Italy (The PAMDI Study). Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):1766.
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To estimate prevalence and associated risk factors of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) in a rural and an urban population in the North-East of Italy.
A representative sample of the aged population (65 years or older) of two areas (urban and rural) in the Veneto Region has been randomly selected and submitted to a complete ophthalmologic exam. ARMD status was determined by grading fundus photographs. Nutrient intake was estimated from a self-administered food frequency questionnaire. Demographic, lifestyle, medical characteristics, and vision-related quality of life were also ascertained.
838 individuals, representing population aged 65 or older, have been examined. Summary prevalence of ARMD (drusen > 125 micron) was 18.35% (14.4-22.2, C.I.). No significant difference was observed between rural and urban residents. Dietary lutein and omega-3 fatty acids intake were inversely associated to total soft drusen area and to advanced ARMD. Smoking habit did not evidence association with any grade of the disease. VR-QoL cumulative score showed inverse association with drusen >125 micron, even after adjustment for visual acuity.
Prevalence of ARMD in the North-East of Italy confirms current numbers reported in most studies. This study failed to evidence any difference between urban and rural population, which may also be explained with the actual almost equivalent lifestyle of these subgroups. Absence of association with smoking habit could be influenced by the protective role represented by higher intake of anti-oxidants with diet, compared to dietary habits of United States and Northern Europe.
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