Epidemiology of Eye Diseases Among Ethnic Chinese: Data from the Shihpai Eye Study

Wen Ming Hsu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The Shihpai Eye Study is a population-based study focused on epidemiological research of eye diseases of the elderly in Shihpai region of Taipei, Taiwan. The data collected were between July 1, 1999 and December 31, 2000. A total of 1361 individuals participated in both the questionnaire and eye examination. A structured questionnaire was used to obtain information on demographic data, personal medical history, family history, and lifestyle. Blood pressure, weight, height, waist, and hip circumference were measured by fully trained interviewers. Those who interviewed were invited to the study, which was conducted in Taipei Veterans General Hospital, a major medical center in Taiwan, for a comprehensive standardized ophthalmic examination. The results showed that the prevalence of visual impairment, dry eye, and pterygium were 3.53%, 23.5%, and 7.9%, respectively. The rate of blindness and low vision was estimated to be 0.59% and 2.94%, respectively. The leading cause of visual impairment was cataract, followed by myopic macular degeneration and age-related macular degeneration. The prevalence of cataract revealed 59.2% with women having a higher prevalence than men. Cigarette smoking was also a risk factor for cataract. The prevalence of dry eye in ethnic Chinese (23.5%) was higher than Caucasian (14.6%). Intraocular pressure (IOP) decreases with age, women have higher IOP than men, and IOP in elderly Chinese is lower than white people. Prevalence of age-related macular degeneration among the elderly was 11.2%, and prevalence of glaucoma was 6.7%.Twelve articles regarding to Shihpai Eye Study have been published in Science Citation Index journals. The series of reports identified prevalence and risk factors for various eye diseases. The findings serve as an important references to compare with other population-based eye studies in USA, Australia, Europe, and Asia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-170
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Experimental and Clinical Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2011


  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Blindness
  • Epidemiology
  • Eye diseases
  • Intraocular pressure
  • Visual acuity
  • Visual impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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