Prevalence of Age-Related Macular Degeneration in the US Population

Arch Ophthalmol. 2011 Jan;129(1):75-80. doi: 10.1001/archophthalmol.2010.318.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Macular Degeneration / ethnology*
  • Male
  • Mexican Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Prevalence
  • Retinal Drusen / ethnology
  • United States / epidemiology