To evaluate factors associated with the prevalence of age related maculopathy (ARM) in the adult Chinese population.
The Beijing Eye Study, a population based prevalence study, included 4439 out of 5324 subjects from a rural area and an urban region of greater Beijing, aged 40+ years and invited to participate (response rate 83.4%). Fundus photographs were graded using the Wisconsin Age‐Related Maculopathy Grading system. The following parameters were graded: drusen size, drusen type, and the area covered by drusen; pigmentary abnormalities; geographic atrophy; and exudative ARM.
Fundus photographs were available for 8655 eyes of 4376 (98.6%) subjects. Early age related macular degeneration (ARD), late ARD, and exudative ARD, respectively, were present in 1.4%, 0.20%, and 0.10% of the subjects. In a binary logistic regression analysis, early ARM was statistically associated with age (p<0.001; 95% CI: 1.04 to 1.08), hyperopic refractive error (p=0.008; 95% CI: 1.04 to 1.28), rural region (p<0.001; 95% CI: 0.17 to 0.49), and lower level of education (p=0.01; 95% CI: 1.07 to 1.65). Early ARM was not significantly associated with the optic disc size (p=0.42), and size of beta zone of peripapillary atrophy (p=0.28), the self reported diagnosis of diabetes mellitus (p=0.39; OR: 1.37; 95% CI: 0.66 to 2.85), amount of cortical cataract (p=0.72), subcapsular cataract (p=0.98), nuclear cataract (p=0.26), sex (p=0.23), cataract surgery (p=1.0; OR: 0.96; 95% CI: 0.13 to 6.95), glaucomatous optic nerve damage (p=0.77; OR: 0.62; 95% CI: 0.15 to 2.52), and history of smoking (p=0.66; OR: 1.14; 95% CI: 0.65 to 2.00).
Hyperopic refractive error besides age was the single most important risk factor for ARM in adult Chinese. Other associated factors were rural region and lower level of education.
Keywords: age related macular degeneration, diabetes mellitus, visual impairment, low vision, visual field loss, blindness