Risk Factors for Five-Year Incident Age-related Macular Degeneration: The Reykjavik Eye Study

Arsaell Arnarsson, Thordur Sverrisson, Einar Stefánsson, Haraldur Sigurdsson, Hiroshi Sasaki, Kazuyuki Sasaki, Fridbert Jonasson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To establish risk factors for five-year incidence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Design: Population-based, prospective cohort study, and risk analysis. Methods: A random sample from the Reykjavik Population Census for individuals 50 years and older was selected. We took fundus stereo color photographs and used standard grading system to study the five-year incidence of drusen, pigmentary abnormalities, and AMD and to examine possible risk factors. A questionnaire including information on disease, medication, diet, and lifestyle from the Reykjavik Eye Study database provided additional information. Results: Current alcohol consumption decreased the risk for drusen. Being married rather than divorced or widowed decreased the risk for soft drusen; being single decreased the risk of hypopigmentation as compared with being divorced or married. Both consuming dietary fiber-rich vegetables and meat and meat products once a week or less frequently was a risk factor for developing soft drusen and decreased the risk of pigmentary abnormalities. Those who had smoked 20 pack-years or more as compared with nonsmokers had decreased survival rate over the five years (odds ratio (OR) 0.46, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.27 to 0.80; P = .006). Conclusions: Risk factors for drusen appear to differ from risk factors for pigmentary abnormalities. The effect of smoking on developing AMD is partly masked by selective mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-428.e1
JournalAmerican Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported in part by open Grants (all to F.J.) from St Joseph’s Hospital, Landakot Foundation, Reykjavik, Iceland; University National Hospital and University of Iceland Research Grant; and Helga Jonsdottir and Sigurlidi Kristjansson Memorial Research Fund.


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