The relation of socioeconomic factors to the incidence of early age-related maculopathy: the Beaver Dam eye study

Am J Ophthalmol. 2001 Jul;132(1):128-31. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(00)00931-4.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Income
  • Macular Degeneration / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupations
  • Socioeconomic Factors*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Wisconsin / epidemiology