The KORA-AGE eye study: Eye diseases in the elderly

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Abstract

Purpose

To estimate the prevalence of major age-related eye diseases in a population-based regional study in Southern Germany.

Methods

822 randomly selected persons (age 68-96 years) from the KORA AGE study were asked in 2012 in a standardized interview for the presence of major eye disorders like cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macula degeneration (AMD). In case of any positive reply, the ophthalmologist in charge was asked for validation and specification of any eye disease.

Results

465 persons reported any eye disorder (57%); 71% of them could be validated and specified. There were 182 confirmed cases of cataracts, 7 of glaucoma and 5 of AMD. Additionally, there were 52 cases of cataracts and AMD, also 54 cases of cataract and glaucoma and 11 cases of cataract, glaucoma and AMD. In 62% cases cataracts developed prior to any of the other eye diseases. Adjusted for age, women had a significantly higher risk for cataracts (OR = 1.72) and for AMD (OR = 1.94) than men; no gender-specific difference was observed for glaucoma. Among patients with cataracts, 69% had lens surgery.

Conclusion

We confirmed cataracts as the major age-related eye diseases; however, the number of glaucoma and AMD were surprisingly low. Further analyses are planned to identify risk factors and to show how eye diseases are independent risk factors for increased frailty and disability in the aged. This study was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the programme “Healthy Ageing” (FKZ 01ET1003)

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