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.