Purpose: To examine the age- and gender-specific 5-year incidence of age-related maculopathy (ARM) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in citizens of Reykjavik.
Design: Population-based, prospective cohort study.
Participants: The cohort was a population-based random sample of citizens 50 years and older. Of 1379 eligible subjects, 1045 had a baseline examination in 1996; 846 of the 958 survivors (88.2%) had a 5-year follow-up examination in 2001.
Methods: The incidence of various characteristics of drusen and pigmentary changes that are typical of ARM were determined using the international classification and grading system for ARM and AMD.
Main outcome measures: Early ARM and AMD were assessed by masked grading of stereo fundus photographs.
Results: Hypopigmentation developed at 5 years in 10.7% of people 50 to 59 years of age (95% confidence interval [CI], 6.9-14.4) and in 25.7% those 70 to 79 years of age (95% CI, 18.4-33.0) at baseline. Age-related macular degeneration developed in no one who was 50 to 59 years of age at baseline. Geographic atrophy (GA) developed in 4.6% (95% CI, 1.2-7.9) and exudative AMD in none of those who were 70 years and older at baseline.
Conclusions: Geographic atrophy is the predominant type of AMD in Iceland, and the ratio of GA to neovascular AMD is higher than in racially similar populations.