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Ophthalmology. 1993 Mar;100(3):406-14.

The relationship of cardiovascular disease and its risk factors to age-related maculopathy. The Beaver Dam Eye Study.

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University of Wisconsin, Department of Ophthalmology, Madison 53792-3220.



To examine the association between cardiovascular disease and its risk factors to age-related maculopathy in a population-based study of people between the ages of 43 and 86 years (n = 4926) between 1988 and 1990.


Population-based prevalence study using standardized protocols for physical examination, blood collection, administration of a questionnaire, and stereoscopic color fundus photography to determine age-related maculopathy. Standard univariate and multivariate analyses were performed.


After controlling for age, early age-related maculopathy was related to low total serum cholesterol levels in women and a high high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level and a low total cholesterol/HDL-cholesterol ratio in men. After controlling for age and sex, age-related exudative macular degeneration was associated with higher hematocrit values (odds ratio, 1.09; 95% confidence interval, 1.00, 1.19) and higher leukocyte count (odds ratio, 1.10; 95% confidence interval, 1.00, 1.19). There was no statistically significant relationship between blood pressure, hypertension, or history of cardiovascular disease and exudative macular degeneration or geographic atrophy.


With the exception of relationships between serum lipids and early age-related maculopathy, and hematocrit values, leukocyte counts, and exudative macular degeneration, these data suggest that most cardiovascular disease risk factors are not related to age-related maculopathy. Further longitudinal study is needed.

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