Purpose: To investigate the prevalence of age-related maculopathy in three racial/ethnic groups, non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, and Mexican Americans.
Methods: People 40 years of age or older who participated in a nationally representative population-based sample of the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were examined from 1988 to 1991. Age-related maculopathy was determined by grading of fundus photographs using a standardized protocol for a sample of 4007 persons.
Results: The prevalence of any age-related maculopathy in the civilian noninstitutionalized United States population including those 40 years of age or older was 9.2% as estimated from the sample. Prevalence was higher in non-Hispanic whites (9.3%) compared with non-Hispanic blacks (7.4%) and Mexican Americans (7.1%). Before 60 years of age, Mexican Americans (odds ratio [OR], 1.53; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.0-2.35) and non-Hispanic blacks (OR, 1.59; 95% CI, 0.86-2.95) had a greater chance of having any maculopathy than non-Hispanic whites; thereafter, Mexican Americans (OR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.44-0.90) and non-Hispanic blacks (OR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.37-0.68) had a lesser chance than non-Hispanic whites.
Conclusion: These survey data indicate that age-related maculopathy is prevalent in all groups studied. Differences among the racial/ethnic groups vary by age and sex.