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Ophthalmology. 2012 Apr;119(4):765-70. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2011.09.044. Epub 2011 Dec 23.

Age-related macular degeneration and incident cardiovascular disease: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Rhode Island Hospital, Brown University School of Medicine, 593 Eddy Street, Providence, RI 02903, USA.



To determine whether age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a risk indicator for coronary heart disease (CHD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) events independent of other known risk factors in a multi-ethnic cohort.


Population-based prospective cohort study.


A diverse population sample of 6233 men and women aged 45 to 84 years without known CVD from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).


Participants in the MESA had retinal photographs taken between 2002 and 2003. Photographs were evaluated for AMD. Incident CHD and CVD events were ascertained during clinical follow-up visits for up to 8 years after the retinal images were taken.


Incident CHD and CVD events.


Of the 6814 persons at risk of CHD, there were 893 participants with early AMD (13.1%) and 27 patients (0.5%) at baseline. Over a mean follow-up period of 5.4 years, there was no statistically significant difference in incident CHD or CVD between the AMD and non-AMD groups (5.0% vs. 3.9%, P = 0.13 for CHD and 6.6% vs. 5.5%, P = 0.19 for CVD). In Cox regression models adjusting for CVD risk factors, there was no significant relationship between presence of any AMD and any CHD/CVD events (hazard ratio 0.99; 95% confidence interval, 0.74-1.33; P = 0.97). No significant association was found between subgroups of early AMD or late AMD and incident CHD/CVD events.


In persons without a history of CVD, AMD was not associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD.

Copyright © 2012 American Academy of Ophthalmology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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