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Approved Research

Prevalence, risk factors, OCT imaging and genetic associations of myopic macular degeneration in the UK Biobank

Principal Investigator: Miss Katie Williams
Approved Research ID: 60554
Approval date: November 25th 2020

Lay summary

Short sightedness (myopia) is the most common eye condition globally. It is reaching very high levels in Urban Asia and also increasing to a lesser extent across Europe and the UK. This is concerning as myopia is associated with sight-threatening conditions such as myopic macular degeneration, wear and tear of the central retinal tissue, for which there is currently no treatment.

It is not well understand how common myopic macular degeneration is in our population. We do know that the condition is more likely in those who have a high level of myopia, however not everyone with high myopia will get myopic macular degeneration. Factors influencing this such are genes and environment, particularly if they are modifiable, is very interesting.

We aim to use the UK Biobank dataset to study rates of myopic macular degeneration by grading photographs and eye scans. We then plan to explore the vast dataset to explore risk factors, specific eye features on examination, and genes for this condition. We hope this research could provide information that could enable clinicians to more accurately predict who might develop this sight threatening