The Beaver Dam Eye Study: the relation of age-related maculopathy to smoking.

PubMed ID: 8452123

Author(s): Klein R, Klein BE, Linton KL, DeMets DL. The Beaver Dam Eye Study: the relation of age-related maculopathy to smoking. Am J Epidemiol. 1993 Jan 15;137(2):190-200.

Journal: American Journal Of Epidemiology, Volume 137, Issue 2, Jan 1993

There are conflicting reports regarding the relation of cigarette smoking to age-related maculopathy, a major cause of blindness in the United States. In this report, the authors examined this association in people aged 43-86 years (n = 4,771) who participated in the Beaver Dam Eye Study, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin (1988-1990). Exposure data on cigarette smoking were derived from questions about present and past smoking, duration of smoking, and the number of cigarettes smoked per day. Age-related maculopathy status was determined by grading stereoscopic color fundus photographs using the Wisconsin Age-related Maculopathy Grading System. Smoking status, pack-years smoked, and current exposure to passive smoking were not associated with drusen characteristics (type, area, and confluence) or signs of early age-related maculopathy in any age-sex group studied, except for a higher frequency of increased retinal pigment in males who had ever smoked compared with those who had never smoked. The relative odds for exudative macular degeneration, one form of late age-related maculopathy, in females who were current smokers was 2.50 (95% confidence interval 1.01-6.20) compared with those who were ex-smokers or never smokers; for males, it was 3.29 (95% confidence interval 1.03-10.50). There was no significant relation between smoking status and pure geographic atrophy, another form of late age-related maculopathy. These results suggest that exudative macular degeneration is associated with cigarette smoking and that different forms of macular degeneration may have different etiologies.