Blue Mountains Cohort Study: Long-term (15-year) incidence of eye disease, hearing loss and other public health outcomes [ 2007 - 2009 ]

Also known as: Blue Mountains Cohort Study (15-year follow-up)

Research Grant

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Researchers: Prof Paul Mitchell (Principal investigator) ,  Philip Newall Prof Jie Jin Wang Prof Robert Cumming Prof Stephen Leeder
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Brief description The Blue Mountains Eye Study 15-year study will re-examine survivors of the 3,654 persons who participated in baseline BMES exams, to determine the long-term development and progression of sensory problems, including vision and hearing loss and eye diseases like macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataract or diabetic eye damage. The project will assess whether vascular conditions like high blood pressure, chronic medical conditions, medications, smoking, diet, blood, family and genetic factors predict the risk or age at onset of eye disease or hearing loss. We will assess impacts of vision and hearing loss on independence, falls, quality of life and development of memory loss and depression. This information will help to develop services, and to plan interventions to prevent and treat these conditions. Because of the exponential age-related increase in frequency of these diseases, this long follow-up will provide more disease events, and a longer interval to assess impacts from the exposures we measured when we started the BMES in 2002. It will enable us to estimate the strength of risk factors for eye disease and hearing loss with greater precision, essential to understand their evolution. Surviving participants from the original BMES will be invited to attend follow-up exams at our Katoomba clinic, or to attend mobile- nursing home exams. We will conduct similar exams to those previously to detect new or worsened eye disease or hearing loss. In 2002-4, we saw 82% of the population of 2 Blue Mountains postcodes aged 50 or older. At the 5- and 10-year exams we saw 75% of people still living. We expect the same proportion to participate this time. The BMES is one of Australia's main cohort studies with over 200 publications. It has yielded key findings on the frequency and causes of the major diseases threatening vision and hearing. Longer follow-up will greatly increase our power to detect predictors of these key age-dependent conditions.

Funding Amount $AUD 837,919.23

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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