At baseline in 1992-1994, the authors assessed the combined effects of complement factor H (CFH) genotypes with smoking, fish consumption, and inflammatory markers on the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in 3,654 persons aged > or =49 years. They reexamined 75% of the survivors after 5 and 10 years, confirming incident AMD by side-by-side photographic grading. Of the 2,452 persons followed in the Blue Mountains Eye Study, 1,881 were genotyped (rs1061170), with CC, CT, and TT identified in 13.6%, 46.7%, and 39.7%, respectively. AMD risk increased with each additional C allele (early AMD: age- and sex-adjusted relative risk (RR) = 1.6, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.2, 1.9; late AMD: RR = 2.3, 95% CI: 1.5, 3.6). Late AMD risk among current smokers with the CC/CT genotypes (RR = 10.7, 95% CI: 3.4, 33.9) was 5-fold that for genotypically similar nonsmokers (RR = 2.2, 95% CI: 0.9, 5.5) versus current nonsmokers with TT genotypes. Weekly compared with less than weekly consumption of fish was associated with reduced late AMD risk in participants with the CC genotype (RR = 0.15, 95% CI: 0.03, 0.8) but not the CT (RR = 0.7, 95% CI: 0.3, 2.0) or TT (RR = 1.3, 95% CI: 0.2, 7.2) genotypes. This study documents joint contributions from genetic and systemic factors in determining the progression of AMD.