Objective: To examine the prevalence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, Mexican American, and other racial/ethnic groups.
Design: A US nationally representative, population-based, cross-sectional study involving a total of 5553 persons aged 40 years and older from the 2005-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The main outcome measure was AMD determined by the grading of 45° digital images from both eyes using a standardized protocol.
Results: In the civilian, noninstitutionalized, US population aged 40 years and older, the estimated prevalence of any AMD was 6.5% (95% confidence interval, 5.5-7.6) and the estimated prevalence of late AMD was 0.8% (95% confidence interval, 0.5-1.3). Non-Hispanic black persons aged 60 years and older had a statistically significantly lower prevalence of any AMD than non-Hispanic white persons aged 60 years and older (odds ratio = 0.37; 95% confidence interval, 0.21-0.67).
Conclusions: Overall, the prevalence of any AMD in the 2005-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey was 6.5%, which is lower than the 9.4% prevalence reported in the 1988-1994 Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. While this finding might be explained in part by possible methodological differences, these estimates are consistent with a decreasing incidence of AMD and suggest important public health care implications.