Purpose: Because there are few epidemiologic data examining the relationship between alcohol use and age-related maculopathy, we investigated this relationship via the population-based Beaver Dam Eye Study.
Methods: Alcohol consumption in the year before examination was determined by a standardized questionnaire. Age-related maculopathy status was determined by grading stereoscopic color fundus photographs.
Results: While controlling for other factors, consumption of beer in the past year was related to greater odds of increased retinal pigment degeneration (odds ratio, 1.13; 95% confidence interval, 1.02, 1.25) and exudative macular degeneration (odds ratio, 1.41; 95% confidence interval, 1.05, 1.88). Current consumption of neither wine nor liquor was related to early or late age-related maculopathy.
Conclusions: These data suggest a relationship between beer consumption and greater odds of having exudative macular degeneration. Whether this is from a toxic effect specific to beer or from other unknown confounders cannot be determined.