Researchers publish largest Chinese American eye study

The University of Southern California (USC) Roski Eye Institute researchers and clinicians published the results of the National Eye Institute-funded “Chinese American Eye Study (CHES),” the largest ophthalmology study among those with Chinese ancestry living in the U.S. The findings, published in JAMA Ophthalmology, point to critical interventions in the prevention and treatment of blinding eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy (DR), among Chinese Americans.
Key findings of the CHES study point to a higher percentage (85 percent) of neovascular or “wet” AMD than geographic atrophy or “dry” AMD (15 percent). This is almost the opposite of what has been found in whites or other ethnic groups who typically have the same percentage of AMD types or higher prevalence of dry AMD. The study also found the prevalence of AMD is higher among Chinese Americans as compared to the Chinese population living in urban/rural China, suggesting the influence of environmental or behavioral factors should be considered. According to the National Eye Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, AMD is the leading cause of vision loss affecting more than 2 million Americans. Primarily affecting central vision, the two types of AMD refers most often to those who receive a diagnosis after age 60.
The other substantial finding in the study is the participants with diabetes (17.4 percent) were three times more likely than those without the disease to have significant visual impairment. This increase was found in the Chinese American study participants with Type II diabetes who had cataracts or macular edema resulting in visual impairments. While 41 percent of these Chinese American study participants had DR, this is a lower percentage than has been reported among Chinese people living in rural China (46 percent) and Latinos living in Los Angeles (48 percent). As well, Chinese Americans were found to have a lower reported rate of DR than Chinese residing in rural Northern China, likely a result of their better access to diabetes screening and treatment.
Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial group in the U.S. and Chinese Americans are the largest segment of this population, according to the latest U.S. Census. Rohit Varma, MD, MPH, interim dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC and director of the USC Roski Eye Institute, was the study’s principal investigator and one of the world’s leading experts in population based eye disease………
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Source: Medical Xpress