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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2008 Jul;49(7):3126-33. doi: 10.1167/iovs.08-1803. Epub 2008 Apr 4.

Prevalence and associated risk factors of age-related macular degeneration in an elderly Chinese population in Taiwan: the Shihpai Eye Study.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.



To assess the prevalence and associated risk factors of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in an elderly Chinese population in Taiwan.


The Shihpai Eye Study was a survey of vision and ocular disease in an elderly Chinese population 65 years of age or older residing in Shihpai, Taipei, Taiwan. Of 2045 elderly residents randomly sampled from the household registration databank, 1361 (66.6%) underwent a detailed ophthalmic examination that included fundus color slides by fundus camera after pupil dilatation. Photographs were graded according to the Wisconsin Age-Related Maculopathy Grading System.


Fundus photographs were available for 1105 (54.0% in the eligible, 81.2% in the ocular examined) participants. The 47 (4.3%) participants who had ungradable fundus images were older and had more lens opacity. Of the 1058 gradable photographs, the prevalence of early AMD was 9.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 7.8-10.8); of late AMD, 1.9% (95% CI, 1.3-2.7); of soft drusen, 42.2% (95% CI, 39.7-44.8); of soft indistinct drusen, 4.1% (95% CI, 3.1-5.2); and of any pigmentary change, 8.6% (95% CI, 7.2-10.2). Age was the most significant factor associated with both early and late AMD. The prevalence of early AMD rose from 5.0% in the 65- to 69-year age group to 24.4% in those 80 years of age and older; and for late AMD, from 1.0% to 9.0%. Those who currently drank alcohol had a lower rate of early AMD than did the nondrinker (adjusted odd ratio 0.32, 95% CI: 0.11-0.93, P = 0.037).


AMD is a common eye disease in the elderly Chinese people in Taiwan. The adjusted prevalence rate of exudative AMD is comparable to that in the Chinese people in the Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) in the United States but is higher than in the Chinese people in the Beijing study in China. Further studies are needed to clarify the incidence and associated risk factors.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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