Epidemiology of major eye diseases leading to blindness in Europe: a literature review

Ophthalmic Res. 2012;47(4):171-88. doi: 10.1159/000329603. Epub 2011 Nov 26.


The objective of this work was to study the epidemiology of major eye diseases leading to blindness in Europe through a systematic literature review. The literature search was performed using the Medline database (PubMed), with MeSH and free text search terms. Inclusion criteria for the studies were: (a) performed on a healthy population of Caucasian origin aged between 50 and 75 years; (b) diagnosed by ophthalmological examination in accordance with the International Classification of Diseases 10; (c) contained a detailed description of the sampling and diagnostic procedures and data resources; (d) sample size>500, and (e) published between 1990 and 2008. The results of 57 studies on the prevalence and incidence of age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma are reported, providing an up-to-date and comprehensive overview of these diseases in Europe from an epidemiological perspective.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Blindness / epidemiology*
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Eye Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Humans