The relationship of age-related maculopathy, cataract, and glaucoma to visual acuity.

Kleins Lab // Publications // Jan 01 1995

PubMed ID: 7822146

Author(s): Klein R, Wang Q, Klein BE, Moss SE, Meuer SM. The relationship of age-related maculopathy, cataract, and glaucoma to visual acuity. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1995 Jan;36(1):182-91.

Journal: Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, Volume 36, Issue 1, Jan 1995

PURPOSE To investigate the relationship of age-related maculopathy, cataract, and glaucoma to visual acuity in the population-based Beaver Dam Eye Study.

METHODS A cross-sectional, population-based study was performed in people 43 through 86 years of age residing in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, who were identified between 1987 and 1988 and examined (n = 4926) between 1988 and 1990. Of those who participated, 99.4% were white. Visual acuity was measured (n = 4886) using a modification of the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study protocol. Stereoscopic color fundus photographs and slit lamp and retroillumination photographs of the lens were graded in a masked fashion using standardized protocols to determine the presence of age-related maculopathy and central cataract.

RESULTS Fifty-seven percent of those who were legally blind had late age-related maculopathy in both eyes. The frequency of visual acuity of 20/200 or worse was not significantly different in eyes with exudative macular degeneration (48%) than in eyes with pure geographic atrophy (42%). While controlling for other factors (age, central cataract, and glaucoma) in participants with both gradable age-related maculopathy and visual acuity measurable in at least one eye (n = 4716), investigators found that each of the early age-related maculopathy lesions was associated with a decrease in visual acuity of approximately two letters or fewer when compared to eyes without these lesions. Late age-related maculopathy was associated with a decrease of approximately seven lines of letters read correctly.

CONCLUSION These data demonstrate that exudative macular degeneration and pure geographic atrophy are the most important causes of legal blindness in this population and that early age-related maculopathy, central cataract, and glaucoma had a small effect on visual acuity.