To describe the prevalence and signs of early and late age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in an old cohort.
Population-based cohort study.
We included 5272 persons aged =66 years, randomly sampled from the Reykjavik area.
Fundus images were taken through dilated pupils using a 45-degree digital camera and graded for drusen size, type, area, increased retinal pigment, retinal pigment epithelial depigmentation, neovascular lesions, and geographic atrophy (GA) using the modified Wisconsin Age-Related Maculopathy Grading System.
Age-related macular degeneration in an elderly cohort.
The mean age of participants was 76 years. The prevalence of early AMD was 12.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 11.0-13.9) for those aged 66 to 74 years and 36% (95% CI, 30.9-41.1) for those aged =85 years. The prevalence of exudative AMD was 3.3% (95% CI, 2.8-3.8). The prevalence of pure GA was 2.4% (95% CI, 2.0-2.8). The highest prevalence of late AMD was among those aged =85 years: 11.4% (95% CI, 8.2-14.5) for exudative AMD and 7.6% (95% CI, 4.8-10.4) for pure GA.
Persons aged =85 years have a 10-fold higher prevalence of late AMD than those aged 70 to 74 years. The high prevalence of late AMD in the oldest age group and expected increase of elderly people in the western world in coming years call for improved preventive measures and novel treatments.