PURPOSE To describe the relationship of refractive errors to the 10-year incidence of age-related maculopathy (ARM) in a defined white population.
METHODS Persons aged 43 to 86 years of age in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, were invited for a baseline examination from 1988 through 1990, and follow-up examinations 5 and 10 years later (n = 3684). Refraction was measured at baseline, with myopia defined as a spherical equivalent of -1.00 D or less, emmetropia as -0.75 to +0.75 D and hyperopia as +1.00 D or more. At each examination, signs of ARM were ascertained from grading stereoscopic color fundus photographs based on a standard protocol. The association between baseline refractive status and the 10-year incidence and progression of ARM was analyzed.
RESULTS The 10-year cumulative incidence for early ARM was 7.1%, 7.7%, and 11.7%, in eyes with myopia, emmetropia, and hyperopia, respectively. The corresponding 10-year cumulative incidence for late ARM was 0.3%, 0.8%, and 2.2%. When age was controlled for, there was no association between myopia and incident early (relative risk [RR] 1.0, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.7-1.3) and late (RR 0.5, 95% CI, 0.2-1.5) ARM. Similarly, after controlling for age, hyperopia was not associated with incident early (RR 0.9, 95% CI, 0.7-1.1) or late (RR 1.2, 95% CI, 0.6-2.3) ARM.
CONCLUSIONS These prospective population-based data provide no evidence of an association between refractive errors and risk of ARM.