Objective: To examine the association between ocular factors and the incidence and progression of age-related maculopathy.
Participants: A population of 3684 adults (43-86 years of age at baseline) living in Beaver Dam, Wis, studied at baseline and 5 years later.
Methods: Standardized protocols for refraction and determination of iris color, administration of a questionnaire, and slitlamp and retroillumination photographs of the lenses to determine cataract type and stereoscopic color fundus photographs to determine presence and severity of age-related maculopathy. Standard univariate and multivariate analyses were performed.
Main outcome measures: Incidence and progression of age-related maculopathy.
Results: After controlling for age, eyes that had undergone cataract surgery before baseline were more likely to have progression of age-related maculopathy (odds ratio, 2.71; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.69-4.35) and to develop signs of late age-related maculopathy (odds ratio, 2.80; 95% CI, 1.03-7.63) than were eyes that were phakic at baseline. These relationships remained after controlling for other risk factors in multivariate analyses. There was no relationship of nuclear cataract, cortical cataract, or iris color to the incidence and progression of age-related maculopathy.
Conclusion: These findings indicate a relationship between cataract surgery and increased risk of progression of age-related maculopathy.