The Montrachet Study: study design, methodology and analysis of visual acuity and refractive errors in an elderly population

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To describe the design of the Montrachet Study (Maculopathy Optic Nerve nuTRition neurovAsCular and HEarT diseases) and to report visual acuity and refractive errors in this elderly population.


Participants were recruited in Dijon (France), from the ongoing population-based 3C Study. In 2009–2011, 1153 participants from the 3 Cities Study, aged 75 years or more, had an initial eye examination and were scheduled for eye examinations. The eye examination comprised visual acuity, refraction, visual field, ocular surface assessment, photographs and OCT of the macula and the optic disc, measurement of intra-ocular pressure, central corneal thickness and macular pigment assessment. Information on cardiovascular and neurologic diseases and a large comprehensive database (blood samples, genetic testing, cognitive tests, MRI) were available from the 3C Study.


Presenting visual acuity <20/60 in the better eye was found in 2.3% (95% CI 1.5–3.2) of the participants with no gender differences. Visual impairment increased with age from 1.5% (95% CI 0.3–2.7) for those aged 75–79 years to 5.6% (95% CI 2.9–8.4) for patients 85 years and older (p = 0.0003). Spherical equivalent did not differ between men and women (p = 0.8) and decreased with age whatever the lens status.


Despite the high prevalence of self-reported eye diseases in this elderly population, visual impairment was low and increased with age. The Montrachet Study may help to better estimate the prevalence of eye diseases in people over 75 years of age and to seek associations with cardiovascular and neurologic diseases and their potential risk factors.

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