gms | German Medical Science

104th DOG Annual Meeting

21. - 24.09.2006, Berlin

Blindness in the elderly in China

Meeting Abstract

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  • M. Hogeweg - Department of Ophthalmology, LUMC Leiden, Netherlands CBM/CEARO medical advisor for S.E. Asia

Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft e.V.. 104. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Ophthalmologischen Gesellschaft (DOG). Berlin, 21.-24.09.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. Doc06dogSA.10.02

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 18, 2006

© 2006 Hogeweg.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



An overview will be given on the achievements and challenges for PBL programmes in China with emphasis on the elderly. China has some 126 mill. people of >60 years of age, in a total population of 1.3 billion. This is expected to increase to 240 million in 1.5 billion population, by the year 2020. Blindness is estimated by WHO as 0.4 – 0.6%. Nearly 50% of blindness is due to cataract. At present 500 000 cataract surgeries are performed annually. The CSR is estimated as 450/ million /year. Angle closure glaucoma and retinal disease, including high myopia, are other important factors of blindness and visual impairment in the elderly. Increasing prevalence of diabetes, high levels of smoking and other modern lifestyle conditions will increasingly affect the eye sight of the elderly in future, in particular in urban areas.