Prevalence of age-related macular degeneration in a Malay population: the Singapore Malay Eye Study

Ophthalmology. 2008 Oct;115(10):1735-41. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2008.02.012. Epub 2008 Apr 25.


Objective: To describe the prevalence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in an Asian Malay population.

Design: Population-based cross-sectional study.

Participants: An age-stratified random sample of Malay persons aged 40 to 80 years living in Singapore.

Methods: Participants were invited to a central clinic for a comprehensive examination.

Main outcome measures: Early and late AMD signs were graded from retinal photographs following the Wisconsin grading system.

Results: Of 3280 participants who participated (78.7% response rate), 3265 had photographs of sufficient quality for grading of AMD signs. Early and late AMD were present in 160 (4.9%) and 23 (0.70%) participants, respectively. After age standardization, the prevalence of early AMD in Malay persons aged 40 to 80 years was estimated to be 3.5% (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.9%-4.1%) and that of late AMD was 0.34% (95% CI, 0.20%-0.49%). Early AMD was more prevalent in men than in women (6.1% vs. 3.8%); this was significant despite adjusting for age and smoking (odds ratio [OR], 1.56; 95% CI, 1.11-2.20). Late AMD also was more prevalent in men than in women (1.0% vs. 0.4%), although this was not statistically significant after adjusting for age and smoking (OR, 1.39; 95% CI, 0.52-3.68). The prevalence of early and late AMD was similar to that reported in the Blue Mountains Eye Study among white persons.

Conclusions: The prevalence of AMD in Asian Malay people is similar to that in white persons from the Blue Mountains Eye Study. Early AMD signs were more frequent in men compared with women, an association that was not fully explained by the higher smoking rates in men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asian People / ethnology*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration / blood
  • Macular Degeneration / classification
  • Macular Degeneration / ethnology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Photography
  • Prevalence
  • Singapore / epidemiology
  • Visual Acuity


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL