Prevalence of age-related maculopathy and age-related macular degeneration among the inuit in Greenland. The Greenland Inuit Eye Study

Ophthalmology. 2008 Apr;115(4):700-707.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2007.12.013. Epub 2008 Feb 11.


Purpose: To examine the age- and gender-specific prevalence and describe the common phenotype of early age-related maculopathy (ARM) and late-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD) among the Inuit in Greenland.

Design: Population-based cross-sectional study.

Participants: All > or =60-year-olds born in Greenland and living in the communities of Nuuk and Sisimiut, Greenland.

Methods: The presence and form of early (ARM) and late age-related macular disease (AMD) were determined by grading color fundus photographs using the international classification and grading system for ARM and AMD.

Main outcome measures: Prevalences of ARM and AMD were assessed by masked grading of fundus photographs.

Results: Overall, 695 persons were included in the study (response rate, 74.8%). Prevalence of any ARM was 52.3%. Age-related maculopathy was present in the worse eye in 50.0%, 58.8%, and 44.7% of age groups 60 to 69, 70 to 79, and > or =80, respectively. Prevalence of any AMD was 9.5%. Any AMD was present in the worse eye in 3.9%, 14.6%, and 43.2% of age groups 60 to 69, 70 to 79, and > or =80. Prevalences of pure geographic atrophy (GA) in one or both eyes, exudative degeneration in one or both eyes, and GA in one eye and exudative degeneration in the other eye were 2.3%, 6.1%, and 1.1%, respectively.

Conclusions: The prevalence of ARM is higher than in most other populations studied, and the prevalence of AMD in the oldest age group is higher than in most other populations studied. The prevalence of exudative degeneration is higher than the prevalence of GA, in contrast to findings in some of the Nordic countries-particularly Iceland-and earlier observations in Greenland.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Atrophy
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exudates and Transudates / metabolism
  • Eye / metabolism
  • Eye / pathology
  • Female
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Greenland / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Inuits / statistics & numerical data*
  • Macular Degeneration / diagnosis
  • Macular Degeneration / ethnology*
  • Macular Degeneration / genetics
  • Macular Degeneration / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype
  • Prevalence