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    The main purpose of this study was to examine the association between dust storms (DSs) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) using a 5 year representative national dataset with one million participants, according to information on DS, meteorology, and air pollution in Taiwan. There were 18,855 AMD outpatient cases and 1080 AMD inpatient cases during 2008-2012. A Poisson time-series model was used for the analysis. The results show that AMD cases are significantly associated with exposure to dust storm events. Average daily numbers of wet and dry AMD outpatient cases increased from 6.03 and 4.26 on no-event days to 8.25 and 6.67, 2 days after DSs. Average daily numbers of wet and dry AMD inpatient cases increased from 0.26 and 0.33 on no-event days to 0.58 and 0.75, 1 day after DSs. Both genders and different age groups are all affected by the occurrence of DSs, especially 1 and 2 days after DS events. Women are at a higher risk of outpatient visits and hospitalizations for relatively severe wet AMD. Although AMD highly correlated with age, this study also found that dry AMD outpatient visits in people under the age of 50 were also found to be significantly associated with DS events. In order to protect the health of eyes and avoid AMD, one should reduce or avoid outdoor activities when DS events occur.


    Chin-Shyan Chen, Conmin Chen, Tsai-Ching Liu. Dust Storms Increase the Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2022 Jun 16;19(12)

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    PMID: 35742653

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