Purpose: To investigate the relationship between socioeconomic factors and the 5-year incidence of age-related maculopathy.
Methods: The Beaver Dam Eye Study, a population-based cohort study, examined 3681 adults (range, 43-86 years of age at baseline) living in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, at baseline and 5 years later. Standardized protocols for physical examination, including administration of a questionnaire that included questions regarding income, education level, and status and type of employment, and fundus photography to determine age-related maculopathy, were performed.
Results: While controlling for age and sex, less education, and being in a service-related occupation compared with a white collar professional occupation, was associated (P <.05) with the incidence of early age-related maculopathy.
Conclusion: These data show an association of education and occupation but not income with the incidence of early age-related maculopathy that appears independent of smoking or vitamin supplement use status.