Objective: To estimate the age- and gender-specific prevalence of early age-related macular degeneration (AMD; drusen and retinal pigmentary abnormalities) and advanced AMD (exudative AMD and geographic atrophy) in Latinos.
Design: Population-based, cross-sectional study.
Participants: Six thousand three hundred fifty-seven Latinos 40 years and older from 6 census tracts in Los Angeles, California.
Methods: The study cohort consisted of self-identified Latinos 40 years and over. Participants underwent a complete ophthalmologic examination, including stereoscopic macular photographs. Photographs were graded using a modified Wisconsin Age-Related Maculopathy Grading System.
Main outcome measures: Prevalence of early AMD, drusen, geographic atrophy, and exudative AMD.
Results: Of the 7789 eligible subjects, 6357 participants (82%) completed an interview and clinical examination, and 5875 (75%) had gradable photographs. Prevalence of advanced AMD increased from 0% in those 40-49 years of age to 8.5% in those 80 or older; that of early AMD from 6.2% to 29.7%, that of retinal pigment abnormalities from 4.1% to 19.3%, that of large drusen (> or =125 microm in diameter) from 8.5% to 45.3%, that of soft drusen from 15.4% to 58.1%, and that of soft indistinct drusen from 3.6% to 30.8%. The prevalence of early AMD and advanced AMD lesions increased with age (P<0.0001). Early AMD was significantly more common in males than in females. Of all participants with early or late AMD, only 57% reported ever visiting an eye care practitioner, and only 21% in the last year.
Conclusion: Detailed population-based estimates of AMD in Latinos are provided. Despite relatively high rates of early AMD, corresponding rates of advanced AMD are not high. Data on progression of the high rates of early AMD in Latinos require further study.