Age-related macular degeneration and premorbid allergic diseases: a population-based case-control study

Sci Rep. 2021 Aug 16;11(1):16537. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-95937-0.


Evidence indicates that age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is associated with the prior presence of allergic diseases; however, large-scale studies in the literature are limited. A case-control study was conducted to describe the relationship between premorbid allergic diseases and AMD using Taiwan's National Health Insurance database. Eligibility criteria for inclusion of new adult AMD cases from 2000 to 2013 were set up. We defined the year of diagnosis as the index year. Age-, gender-, index year- matched controls who were drawn from the same database. The case control ratio was 1:4. For all participants, all premorbid conditions staring 1996 to index year were documented. Binary logistic regression was used to describe factors related to AMD occurrence. The AMD group consisted of 10,911 patients, and the comparison group consisted of 43,644 individuals. Patients with AMD showed significant associations with premorbid allergic diseases (aOR 1.54, 95% CI 1.47-1.61), specifically with allergic conjunctivitis (aOR 2.07, 95% CI 1.94-2.20), allergic rhinitis (aOR 1.32, 95% CI 1.25-1.39), asthma (aOR 0.99, 95% CI 0.93-1.06), and atopic dermatitis (aOR 1.04, 95% CI 0.94-1.17). Further analyses indicated that patients with more concurrent allergic diseases have higher associations with AMD than those with fewer concurrent diseases. Patients with more annual medical visits for their allergic diseases also showed higher associations with AMD than those with fewer visits. AMD is significantly associated with premorbid allergic diseases. The underlying mechanisms must be further investigated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Conjunctivitis, Allergic / epidemiology*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Macular Degeneration / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Office Visits / statistics & numerical data
  • Rhinitis, Allergic / epidemiology*
  • Risk
  • Sampling Studies
  • Taiwan / epidemiology
  • Young Adult