Objective: To assess the relationship between stages of age-related maculopathy (ARM) and cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular disease risk factors, including serum lipid and plasma fibrinogen levels, smoking, cardiovascular events, systemic hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and obesity.
Design: A cross-sectional study of 3654 subjects from a defined geographic area identified subjects with late age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) and early ARM from the masked grading of retinal photographs. The history, physical examination findings, and fasting blood samples provided data on possible risk factors. Logistic regression, adjusting for age, sex, and possible confounders, and 2-way analysis of variance were used to assess associations.
Results: The only factors significantly associated with ARM included the 2 established risk factors, smoking and family history of ARMD (odds ratios, 4.1 and 4.2, for late ARMD, respectively), and the 2 variables, body mass index (odds ratio, 1.78 for obese compared with normal body mass index for early ARM) and plasma fibrinogen level (odds ratio, 6.7 for a fibrinogen level of >4.5 g/L [highest quartile] compared with a fibrinogen level of <3.4 g/L [lowest quartile] for late ARMD).
Conclusions: These findings support the concepts that associations exist between plasma fibrinogen levels and late ARMD, a body mass index outside the normal range, and early ARM, and between the family history and smoking and any ARM. We found no other significant associations with any history of cardiovascular disease or other risk factors for cardiovascular disease.