Objective: To evaluate the epidemiological correlation between age-related macular degeneration and pseudoexfoliation syndrome in the inhabitants of the island of Crete (Greece).
Subjects and methods: A total of 777 persons (315 men and 462 women, aged 40-99 years), representing a randomized sample (1.43%) of the Cretan population, underwent slitlamp and fundus examinations according to protocol. The results were statistically analyzed.
Results: The prevalence of pseudoexfoliation was 16.1% (21.3% in men and 12.6% in women) and that of maculopathy, 7.9% (11.7% in men and 5.2% in women). The conditions were significantly correlated with each other (P = .002). Also, both displayed a significant direct correlation with age and altitude (for pseudoexfoliation, P<.001 and P = .002 for age and altitude, respectively; for age-related macular degeneration, P<.001 for age and for altitude) and an increase in bilateral incidence with progressing age.
Conclusions: The observed prevalences of pseudoexfoliation and maculopathy were lower than those reported in the mainland of Greece and other Mediterranean regions. The correlation between age-related macular degeneration and pseudoexfoliation syndrome may be explained by the relationship of each disease with age and altitude.