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1.  Advice about diet and smoking for people with or at risk of age-related macular degeneration: a cross-sectional survey of eye care professionals in the UK 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:564.
Background
In the absence of a cure, there has been considerable interest in attempts to prevent or reduce the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by targeting particular modifiable risk factors. The aim of this study was to conduct a cross-sectional survey of the current practice of UK eye care professionals in relation to advice given on diet and other lifestyle modifications for patients with or at risk of AMD.
Methods
Optometrists and ophthalmologists on the membership databases of professional organisations for the two professions were invited to participate in an online survey. The survey was open for 12 weeks between July and September 2012.
Results
A total of 1,468 responses were received (96.3% from optometrists and 3.7% from ophthalmologists). The response rate of those receiving the invitation was 16.2% (1,414/8735) for optometrists and 6% (54/1460) for ophthalmologists. A majority of respondents reported that they frequently provide dietary advice to patients with established AMD (67.9%) and those at risk of AMD (53.6%). Typical advice consisted of a recommendation to eat plenty of leafy green vegetables and eat more oily fish. The decision to recommend nutritional supplements was based on the risk of progression to advanced AMD, with approximately 93% of respondents recommending supplementation in a patient with advanced AMD in one eye. However for the majority, the type of supplement recommended did not comply with current best research evidence, based on the findings of the Age-related Eye Disease Study (AREDS). Only one in three optometrists regularly assessed smoking status and advised on smoking cessation.
Conclusions
Within a large sample of eye care professionals, consisting predominantly of optometrists, who responded to a cross-sectional survey, there was active engagement in providing nutritional advice to patients with or at risk of AMD. However, the results demonstrate a need to raise awareness of the evidence underpinning the use of nutritional supplements together with an increased involvement in targeted smoking cessation.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-564
PMCID: PMC3695797  PMID: 23759079
Age-related macular degeneration; Lifestyle modification; Nutrition; Smoking cessation
2.  Ethnic Variations in the Prevalence of Diabetic Retinopathy in People with Diabetes Attending Screening in the United Kingdom (DRIVE UK) 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e32182.
Aims
To compare the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy (DR) in people of various ethnic groups with diabetes in the United Kingdom (UK).
Methods
The Diabetic Retinopathy In Various Ethnic groups in UK (DRIVE UK) Study is a cross-sectional study on the ethnic variations of the prevalence of DR and visual impairment in two multi-racial cohorts in the UK. People on the diabetes register in West Yorkshire and South East London who were screened, treated or monitored between April 2008 to July 2009 (London) or August 2009 (West Yorkshire) were included in the study. Data included age, sex, ethnic group, type of diabetes, presenting visual acuity and the results of grading of diabetic retinopathy. Prevalence estimates for the ethnic groups were age-standardised to the white European population for comparison purposes.
Results
Out of 57,144 people on the two diabetic registers, data were available on 50,285 individuals (88.0%), of these 3,323 had type 1 and 46,962 had type 2 diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, the prevalence of any DR was 38.0% (95% confidence interval(CI) 37.4% to 38.5%) in white Europeans compared to 52.4% (51.2% to 53.6%) in African/Afro-Caribbeans and 42.3% (40.3% to 44.2%) in South Asians. Similarly, sight threatening DR was also significantly more prevalent in Afro-Caribbeans (11.5%, 95% CI 10.7% to 12.3%) and South Asians (10.3%, 9.0% to 11.5%) compared to white Europeans (5.5%, 5.3% to 5.8%). Differences observed in Type 1 diabetes did not achieve conventional levels of statistical significance, but there were lower numbers for these analyses.
Conclusions
Minority ethnic communities with type 2 diabetes in the UK are more prone to diabetic retinopathy, including sight-threatening retinopathy and maculopathy compared to white Europeans.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032182
PMCID: PMC3297598  PMID: 22412857
3.  Hospital admissions in older people with visual impairment in Britain 
BMC Ophthalmology  2008;8:16.
Background
We aimed to assess the risk of hospital admission associated with visual impairment in a representative sample of older people living in the community in Britain.
Methods
Design: Prospective study of hospital admission in a population-based sample of community dwelling people aged 75 years and above in Britain. Setting: 53 general practices. Participants: 14,394 participants in the MRC Trial of Assessment and Management of Older people in the Community. Main outcome measure: Hospital admission.
Results
Visually impaired older people had 238.7 admissions/1000 person-years compared to 169.7 admissions/1000 person-years in people with good vision: age and sex adjusted rate ratio (RR) 1.32 (95% CI 1.19 to 1.47). Adjusting for a wide range of potential explanatory factors largely eliminated this association: RR 1.06 (95% CI 0.94 to 1.20). However, adjusting for a more limited range of confounding factors, excluding those factors possibly a consequence of reduced vision, left a modest increased risk: RR 1.19 (95% CI 1.06 to 1.34).
Conclusion
The association between visual impairment and rate of hospital admission can be attributed to higher levels of co-morbidity and reduced functional ability among people with reduced vision. Visual impairment is likely to be an important contributor to reduced functional ability, but other factors may also be involved.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-8-16
PMCID: PMC2564910  PMID: 18786264
4.  Is the NEI-VFQ-25 a useful tool in identifying visual impairment in an elderly population? 
BMC Ophthalmology  2006;6:24.
Background
The use of self-report questionnaires to substitute for visual acuity measurement has been limited. We examined the association between visual impairment and self reported visual function in a population sample of older people in the UK.
Methods
Cross sectional study of people aged more than 75 years who initially participated in a trial of health screening. The association between 25-item National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI-VFQ) scores and visual impairment (defined as an acuity of less than 6/18 in the better eye) was examined using logistic regression.
Results
Visual acuity and NEI-VFQ scores were obtained from 1807 participants (aged 77 to 101 years, 36% male), from 20 general practices throughout the UK. After adjustment for age, gender, practice and NEI-VFQ sub-scale scores, those complaining of poor vision in general were 4.77 times (95% CI 3.03 to 7.53) more likely to be visually impaired compared to those who did not report difficulty. Self-reported limitations with social functioning and dependency on others due to poor vision were also associated with visual impairment (odds ratios, 2.52, 95% CI 1.55 to 4.11; 1.73, 95% CI 1.05 to 2.86 respectively). Those reporting difficulties with near vision and colour vision were more likely to be visually impaired (odds ratios, 2.32, 95% CI 1.30 to 4.15; 2.25, 95% CI 1.35 to 3.73 respectively). Other NEI-VFQ sub-scale scores were unrelated to measures of acuity. Similar but weaker odds ratios were found with reduced visual acuity (defined as less than 6/12 in the better eye). Although differences in NEI-VFQ scores were small, scores were strongly associated with visual acuity, binocular status, and difference in acuity between eyes.
Conclusion
NEI-VFQ questions regarding the quality of general vision, social functioning, visual dependency, near vision and colour vision are strongly and independently associated with an objective measure of visual impairment in an elderly population.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-6-24
PMCID: PMC1523367  PMID: 16764714

Results 1-4 (4)