Asians Suffer More Age-related Eye Disease

SINGAPORE, May 4 (UPI) — Researchers in Singapore warn Asians may be more susceptible to age-related macular degeneration than Caucasians.

Study leader Dr. Tien Yi Wong of the Singapore Eye Research Institute says Asians had been considered at low risk for this eye disease — currently the leading cause of vision loss in older Caucasians.

The study, published in the journal Ophthalmology, finds rates of early-stage age-related macular generation of 6.8 percent and of late stage of 0.56 percent in Asians — versus 8.8 percent and 0.59 percent among Caucasians.

Wong and colleagues analyzed nine studies from Japan, China, South Korea, India and Singapore with standardized diagnosis of participants ages 40-79.

The “wet” or neovascular form of macular degeneration appeared to be more prevalent among Asians — especially Asian men, Wong says.

Wong suggests future studies evaluate racial/ethnic differences such as differences in susceptibility.

“Our meta-analysis could not adjust for important risk factors like smoking, common among many Asian men; nor did this study include all relevant Asian racial/ethnic groups,” Wong says in a statement.

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