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Acta Ophthalmol. 2009 May;87(3):262-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-3768.2008.01376.x. Epub 2008 Nov 12.

The epidemiology of age-related macular degeneration in the Indian subcontinent.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Alexandra Hospital, Singapore.



The Indian subcontinent is one of the most populous regions in the world. Given the projected rapid population growth and ageing of the population, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is likely to emerge as a major public health threat in the near future. However, existing literature on AMD in the region is scarce.


This paper reviews the epidemiology and risk factors of AMD in the Indian subcontinent.


Data on AMD in India show prevalences ranging from 1.8% to 4.7%. Blindness prevalence studies in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal have also reported rates of 2.1% to 8.7% for all blindness attributable to AMD. Age-related macular degeneration is therefore a significant cause of visual morbidity in these countries. To date, no reliable epidemiological data on AMD or blindness have been published for Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives or Bhutan.


The prevalence of AMD in the region is likely to follow a trend similar to that seen in the developed world in the coming years. Eye care policies should therefore make provisions for this chronic age-related eye disease. In addition, there is an urgent need for more data on the epidemiology of AMD in the Indian subcontinent.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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