Ngai et al reported risk factors associated with age-related macular degeneration. These can help to identify a patient who should be evaluated for the condition. The authors are from the University of Bristol, University of Adelaide and University of Glasgow.


Risk factors for age-related macular degeneration:

(1) advancing age (age > 50 years)

(2) hypertension (using mean arterial pressure)

(3) diet high in lard, solid fat and/or fried foods

(4) elevated serum C-reactive protein (CRP)

(5) low serum triglyceride concentration


The factor with the highest odds ratio (and the only one with an OR greater than 1.5) was increasing age (OR 2.4 if 55 to 58.5 years, 2.6 for 58.6 to 63.6 years).


A history of smoking has been implicated as a risk factor in other studies but was not found to be significant in the multivariate analysis of this study.


Alcohol consumption was associated with a lower risk but the p-value for the trend was 0.09.


A person wishing to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration may want to address the modifiable factors (blood pressure, diet, smoking).


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