Aim: To establish the frequency, associations and risk factors for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in hospital population of South India.
Materials and methods: In this cross-sectional hospital based study, 3549 subjects (2090 men and 1459 women) above 45 years of age were screened randomly for AMD. Participants underwent ocular evaluation and were interviewed for lifestyle variables and dietary intake of carotenoids by structured food frequency questionnaire. AMD was defined according to the international classifications and grading system.
Results: Either form of AMD was detected in 77 (2.2%) participants. Of which, early and late AMD was present in 63 (1.8%) and 14 (0.4%) subjects, respectively. Binary logistic analysis showed that the incidence of AMD was significantly higher with increasing age (Odds ratio [OR] 1.17; 95% CI 1.13-1.22) and diabetes (OR 3.97; 95% CI 2.11-7.46). However, AMD was significant among heavy cigarette smokers (OR 5.58; 95% CI 0.88-7.51) and alcoholics (OR 4.85; 95% CI 2.45-12.22). Dietary lutein/zeaxanthin (L/Z) and β-carotene intake were associated (P < 0.001) with the reduction in risk for AMD, with an OR of 0.38 and 0.65, respectively.
Conclusions: Higher dietary intake of carotenoids, especially L/Z, was associated with lower risk for AMD. Risk of AMD is higher with increasing age and was prevalent among subjects with diabetes. Cessation of smoking and alcohol may reduce the risk of AMD in this population.