Author(s): Fisher DE, Klein BE, Wong TY, Rotter JI, Li X, Shrager S, Burke GL, Klein R, Cotch MF. Incidence of age-related macular degeneration in a multi-ethnic United States population: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Ophthalmology. 2016 Jun;123(6):1297-308. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2015.12.026. Epub 2016 Feb 16. PMID 26896123
PURPOSE To describe the incidence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and associated risk factors in 4 racial/ethnic groups (white, black, Hispanic, and Chinese) residing in the United States.
DESIGN Prospective cohort study.
PARTICIPANTS A total of 3811 participants, aged 46 to 86 years, from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) cohort, with retinal data collected twice, on average, 8 years apart.
METHODS Fundus images, taken using a digital camera through dark-adapted pupils using a standard protocol and the same equipment at both study visits, were graded centrally for early and late AMD on the basis of drusen size, type and area, increased retinal pigment, retinal pigment epithelial depigmentation, neovascular lesions, and geographic atrophy using the modified Wisconsin Age-Related Maculopathy Grading System. Demographic, clinical, and laboratory measures were included in multivariable regression models to determine their impact on the variation in AMD incidence among racial/ethnic groups.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Incident early and late AMD.
RESULTS The overall 8-year age- and sex-standardized incidence of early and late AMD were 4.1% and 2.3%, respectively, with incidence of early and late AMD highest in whites (5.3% and 4.1%, respectively), intermediate in Chinese (4.5% and 2.2%, respectively) and Hispanics (3.3% and 0.8%, respectively), and lowest in blacks (1.6% and 0.4%, respectively). By adjusting for age and sex, blacks had a 70% lower risk of developing early AMD than whites, and this decreased only slightly to a 67% lower risk after multivariable adjustment. By adjusting for age, sex, and race/ethnicity, hyperopia was associated with early AMD (odds ratio [OR], 1.51; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04-2.20), as was astigmatism (OR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.00-2.16), but not myopia (P = 0.29). Age, race/ethnicity, current smoking, hyperopia, and AMD-susceptibility genotypes Complement Factor H (CFH) RS1061170 and Age Related Maculopathy Susceptibility 2 (ARMS2) RS3793917 were independently associated with incident early AMD in multivariable models for the combined sample. However, the only statistically significant factor consistently associated with incident early AMD across the 4 racial/ethnic groups was increasing age. Risk factors for late AMD were not assessed because of its low incidence, particularly across racial/ethnic groups.
CONCLUSIONS Variation in the incidence of early AMD exists among racial/ethnic groups in the United States and is not explained by the clinical, genetic, and environmental factors included in this study.