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Prevalence of myopic maculopathy in the German population: results from the Gutenberg health study


Aims To determine the prevalence of myopic maculopathy in the general population in Germany and to analyse potential associations with ocular and systemic factors.

Design The Gutenberg Health Study is a population-based study, including 15 010 participants aged 35–74 years.

Methods Myopic maculopathy was graded in phakic eyes with spherical equivalent ≤−6 D by assessing fundus photographs according to a recent international photographic classification system (META-PM). 801 eyes of 519 participants (mean age 51.0±0.77 years) met the conditions and had gradable fundus photographs. Age-specific prevalence estimates were computed. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to assess associated factors with myopic maculopathy.

Results Myopic maculopathy was present in 10.3% (95% CI 7.9 to 13.3) study participants. The prevalence was 8.6% (95% CI 6.1% to 11.9%) in the 397 right eyes and 8.7% (95% CI 6.2% to 12.0%) in the 404 left eyes. The most common type of pathology was diffuse atrophy (8.1%), followed by patchy atrophy (1.3%) and macular atrophy (0.5%); plus lesions were present in 3% (right eyes). Age (OR 1.07 per year, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.11, p<0.001), higher myopic refractive error (p<0.001), and male gender (p=0.02) were associated with myopic maculopathy, while cardiovascular risk factors and socioeconomic factors were not.

Conclusions The prevalence of myopic maculopathy in the German population was 0.5%, and 10% in high myopic participants, aged 35–74 years. These population-based data are the first in Europe. Myopic maculopathy was related to severity of myopic refractive error and age.

  • myopia
  • tessellations
  • diffuse atrophy
  • patchy atrophy
  • myopic maculopathy
  • epidemiology
  • pathologic myopia
  • refractive error
  • myopic macular degeneration
  • Caucasian
  • Europe

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