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HomeminewsStudy Finds Generational Decline in Macular Degeneration

Study Finds Generational Decline in Macular Degeneration

A study from the US has suggested the rate of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) at specific ages has fallen by approximately 60 per cent with each successive generation, since the beginning of last century.

However, due to an increasing ageing population, the total number of people living with macular degeneration is expected to continue to rise.

The study, published in Jama Ophthalmology, examined the offspring of people studied in the Beaver Dam Eye Study (the US predecessor of Australia’s landmark Blue Mountains Eye Study).

There were 4,819 participants (mean baseline age 54 years), comprising 2,117 men and 2,702 women. The study authors reported the five year age and sex-adjusted incidence of AMD was 8.8 per cent in the Greatest Generation (born 1901-1924), 3.0 per cent in the Silent Generation (born 1925-1945), 1.0 per cent in the Baby Boom Generation (born 1946-1964), and 0.3 per cent in Generation X (born 1965-1984).

The study found each generation was more than 60 per cent less likely to develop AMD than the previous generation (relative risk, 0.34; 95per cent CI, 0.24-0.46). The generational association (relative risk, 0.40; 95 per cent CI, 0.28 to 0.57) remained significant after adjusting for age, sex, smoking, educational attainment, exercise, levels of non–high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, statins, and multivitamins. The study did not adjust for the genes that cause macular degeneration or people’s diet.