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Risk of bilateral visual impairment in persons with amblyopia: The Rotterdam Study
  1. Redmer Van Leeuwen (r.vanleeuwen{at},
  2. Marinus JC Eijkemans (m.eijkemans{at},
  3. Johannes R Vingerling (j.vingerling{at},
  4. Albert Hofman (a.hofman{at},
  5. Paulus TVM de Jong (p.dejong{at},
  6. Huib J Simonsz (simonsz{at}
  1. Erasmus MC, Netherlands
  2. Erasmus MC, Netherlands
  3. Erasmus MC, Netherlands
  4. Erasmus MC, Netherlands
  5. Netherlands Institute of Neuroscience, Netherlands
  6. Erasmus MC, Netherlands


    Background: The excess risk of bilateral visual impairment (BVI, bilateral visual acuity <0.5) among persons with amblyopia is an argument for screening for amblyopia. However, data are rare.

    Methods: We estimated this risk by determining the incidence of BVI within The Rotterdam Study, a population-based cohort of subjects aged 55 years or over (n=5220), including 192 persons with amblyopia (3.7%). With a multi-state lifetable, the lifetime risk and excess period spent with BVI were determined.

    Results: The relative risk of BVI for amblyopes was 2.6 (95% confidence interval 1.4-4.5). For amblyopic persons, the lifetime risk of BVI was 18% while they lived on average 7.2 years with BVI. For non-amblyopic persons, these figures were 10% and 6.7 years, respectively.

    Conclusion: Amblyopia nearly doubles the life-time risk of BVI and affected persons spent an extra 6 months with BVI. This study provides data for future cost-effectiveness analyses.

    • amblyopia
    • lifetime risk
    • visual impairment

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