Prior studies suggest a possible association between thyroid disease and the subsequent development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), although it remains inconclusive. This study aimed to evaluate the association of AMD with prior hyper-/hypothyroidism based on nationwide population-based data. We retrieved records of the study patients from the National Health Insurance Research Database, 7522 patients with a first-time diagnosis of AMD and 7522 propensity score-matched controls. Multiple logistic regression analyses were performed to explore the association of neovascular AMD with previously diagnosed hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. The Chi-square test shows that there was a statistically significant difference in the prevalence of prior hyperthyroidism between cases and controls (1.18 vs. 0.13%, p < 0.001). Furthermore, there was a statistically significant difference the prevalence of prior hypothyroidism between cases and controls (0.44 vs. 0.69%, p < 0.001). Multiple logistic regression analysis reveals that AMD was statistically and significantly associated with prior hyperthyroidism after adjusting for age, sex, monthly income, geographical location, urbanization level, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, and coronary heart disease (odds ratio (OR) = 9.074, 95% CI = 4.713−17.471). The adjusted OR of prior hypothyroidism in patients with AMD was 3.794 (95% CI: 2.099~6.858) when compared to the controls. We conclude that patients with thyroid dysfunction are at higher risk of developing AMD Results suggest that these patients could benefit from proactive regular eye checkups to detect evolving eye pathology, even while vision remains normal during the initial phases.
Keywords: age-related macular degeneration; epidemiology; hyperthyroidism; hypothyroidism.