Purpose: To describe the association of demographic, behavioral, medical, and nonretinal ocular factors with the incidence of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and central geographic atrophy (CGA) in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), a randomized trial of antioxidants and zinc supplementation prophylaxis for development of advanced AMD.
Design: Clinic-based prospective cohort study.
Participants: Of individuals with early or intermediate AMD at baseline with a median follow-up of 6.3 years, 788 were at risk of developing advanced AMD in one eye (the fellow eye had advanced AMD), and 2506 were at risk in both eyes.
Methods: The incidence of neovascular AMD and CGA was assessed from stereoscopic color fundus photographs taken at baseline and at annual visits beginning at year 2.
Main outcome measures: Neovascular AMD was defined as photocoagulation for choroidal neovascularization, or photographic documentation at the reading center of any of the following: nondrusenoid retinal pigment epithelial detachment, serous or hemorrhagic retinal detachment, hemorrhage under the retina or the retinal pigment epithelium, and subretinal fibrosis. Central geographic atrophy was defined as geographic atrophy involving the center of the macula.
Results: In multivariable models, in persons at risk of advanced AMD in both eyes, while controlling for age, gender, and AREDS treatment group, the following variables were statistically significantly associated with the incidence of neovascular AMD: race (odds ratio [OR], white vs. black, 6.77; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.24-36.9) and larger amount smoked (OR, >10 vs. < or =10 pack-years [a pack-year is an average of 1 pack of cigarette smoked per day for a year], 1.55; 95% CI, 1.15-2.09). The following were statistically significantly associated with the incidence of CGA: less education (OR, high school graduate or less vs. college graduate, 1.75; 95% CI, 1.10-2.78), greater body mass index (BMI) (OR, obese vs. nonobese, 1.93; 95% CI, 1.25-2.65), larger amount smoked (OR, >10 pack-years vs. < or =10 pack-years, 1.82; 95% CI, 1.25-2.65), and antacid use (OR, 0.29; 95% CI, 0.09-0.91). In persons at risk of developing advanced AMD in one eye, the incidence of neovascular AMD was associated with diabetes (OR, 1.88; 95% CI, 1.07-3.31), and the incidence of CGA was associated with use of antiinflammatory medications (OR, 0.22; 95% CI, 0.08-0.59).
Conclusions: Results suggest that, among persons with early or intermediate AMD, smoking and BMI are modifiable factors associated with progression to advanced AMD, and suggest other associations (e.g., use of antacids and antiinflammatory medications) that warrant further study. This article contains additional online-only material available at http://www.ophsource.org/periodicals/ophtha. .