The relationship of cardiovascular disease and its risk factors to age-related maculopathy. The Beaver Dam Eye Study

Ophthalmology. 1993 Mar;100(3):406-14. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(93)31634-9.


Purpose: To examine the association between cardiovascular disease and its risk factors to age-related maculopathy in a population-based study of people between the ages of 43 and 86 years (n = 4926) between 1988 and 1990.

Methods: Population-based prevalence study using standardized protocols for physical examination, blood collection, administration of a questionnaire, and stereoscopic color fundus photography to determine age-related maculopathy. Standard univariate and multivariate analyses were performed.

Results: After controlling for age, early age-related maculopathy was related to low total serum cholesterol levels in women and a high high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level and a low total cholesterol/HDL-cholesterol ratio in men. After controlling for age and sex, age-related exudative macular degeneration was associated with higher hematocrit values (odds ratio, 1.09; 95% confidence interval, 1.00, 1.19) and higher leukocyte count (odds ratio, 1.10; 95% confidence interval, 1.00, 1.19). There was no statistically significant relationship between blood pressure, hypertension, or history of cardiovascular disease and exudative macular degeneration or geographic atrophy.

Conclusion: With the exception of relationships between serum lipids and early age-related maculopathy, and hematocrit values, leukocyte counts, and exudative macular degeneration, these data suggest that most cardiovascular disease risk factors are not related to age-related maculopathy. Further longitudinal study is needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Female
  • Hematocrit
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Macular Degeneration / blood
  • Macular Degeneration / epidemiology
  • Macular Degeneration / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Wisconsin / epidemiology


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol