Rationale and methodology of the population health and eye disease profile in elderly singaporeans study [PIONEER]

Preeti Gupta, Ryan Eyn Kidd Man, Eva K. Fenwick, Amudha Aravindhan, Alfred T.L. Gan, Sahil Thakur, Bao Lin Pauline Soh, Joanne M. Wood, Alex A. Black, Angelique Chan, David Ng, Teoh Khim Hean, Edwin Goh, Chong Foong Fong Mary, Jenny Loo, Ciaran Gerard Forde, Charumathi Sabanayagam, Ching Yu Cheng, Tien Yin Wong, Ecosse L. Lamoureux*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


To describe the rationale, design and methodology of a geographically-representative and population-based study investigating the epidemiology, impact, personal and economic burden of age-related eye diseases, declining visual and other sensory systems in Asians aged >60 years in Singapore.PIONEER (The PopulatION HEalth and Eye Disease PRofilE in Elderly Singaporeans Study) is currently a cross-sectional study targeting 3152 Chinese, Malay and Indian adults who are Singapore citizens or permanent residents aged 60 years and older living across Singapore. The study is intended to be longitudinal, with several waves of data planned to be collected in the future. The sampling frame consisted of 7000 names derived from age, gender and ethnicity-stratified random sampling of individuals >60 years. Selected individuals were invited via letters, home visits, and telephone calls for a clinical assessment at the Singapore Eye Research Institute. Individuals with limited mobility were examined in a custom-designed mobile eye clinic. Questionnaires were subsequently administered at participants’ homes by trained interviewers in their preferred language. A total of 3,299 participants (from East, West, North and South Singapore) were approached from December 2017 to November 2019. Of these, 953 (28.5%) were deemed ineligible. Out of 2,346 eligible participants, 904 (38.5%) refused, and 1,442 (61.5%) attended our clinical testing protocol, giving an initial response rate of 61.5%. Of these, 1,170 (81%) were cognitively able to complete the questionnaire assessment. The mean age±SD of our participants was 73.8±8.6 years; n=798 (55.3%) were female; and 828 (57.4%) were of Chinese ethnicity. The findings from this study will allow a deeper understanding of the risk factors and impact of aging in Asian populations, particularly in relation to the visual function and other functional system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1444-1458
Number of pages15
JournalAging and Disease
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Epidemiology
  • Eye disease
  • Population-based study
  • Visual function system
  • Visual impairment


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