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Publication date: 
November 3, 2022

Importance  

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss and blindness. AMD prevalence has not been estimated for the US in over a decade and early-stage AMD prevalence estimates are scarce and inconsistently measured.

Objective  

To produce estimates of early- and late-stage AMD prevalence overall and by age, gender, race and ethnicity, county, and state.

Design, Setting, and Participants  

The study team conducted a bayesian meta-regression analysis of relevant data sources containing information on the prevalence of AMD among different population groups in the US.

Data Sources  

We included data from the American Community Survey (2019), the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2005-2008), US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services claims for fee-for-service beneficiaries (2018), and population-based studies (2004-2016).

Study Selection  

We included all relevant data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vision and Eye Health Surveillance System.

Data Extraction and Synthesis  

The prevalence of early- and late-stage AMD was estimated and stratified when possible by factors including county, age group, gender, and race and ethnicity. Data analysis occurred from June 2021 to April 2022.

Main Outcomes or Measures  

The prevalence of early- (defined as retinal pigment epithelium abnormalities or the presence of drusen 125 or more microns in diameter in either eye) and late-stage (defined as choroidal neovascularization and/or geographic atrophy in either eye) manifestations of AMD.

Results  

This study used data from nationally representative and local population-based studies that represent the populations in which they were conducted. For 2019, we estimated that there were 18.34 million people 40 years and older (95% uncertainty interval [UI], 15.30-22.03) living with early-stage AMD, corresponding to a crude prevalence rate of 11.64% (95% UI, 9.71-13.98). We estimated there were 1.49 million people 40 years and older (95% UI, 0.97-2.15) living with late-stage AMD, corresponding to a crude prevalence rate of 0.94% (95% UI, 0.62-1.36). Prevalence rates of early- and late-stage AMD varied by demographic characteristics and geography.

Conclusions and Relevance  

We estimated a higher prevalence of early-stage AMD and a similar prevalence of late-stage AMD as compared with earlier studies. State-level and county-level AMD estimates may help guide public health practice.

Citation: 

Rein DB, Wittenborn JS, Burke-Conte Z, et al. Prevalence of age-related macular degeneration in the US in 2019. JAMA Ophthalmology. 3 November 2022. doi: 10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2022.4401.