Objective To describe the prevalence of and risk factors for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in a multiethnic Asian cohort of Chinese, Malay, and Indian persons.
Methods In this population-based study, 3172 persons of Chinese, Malay, and Indian ethnicities 40 years and older were included. Participants underwent comprehensive systemic and ocular examination, retinal photography, and laboratory investigations. Early and late AMD signs were graded from retinal photographs. Age-standardized prevalence estimates were calculated using the 2010 Singapore adult population as the standard population. Association with a range of systemic risk factors was analyzed.
Results Of 3172 participants, AMD was present in 211 subjects. Age-standardized prevalence of AMD was 7.0% in persons 40 years and older. The age-standardized prevalence was similar in all 3 Asian ethnic groups: Chinese, 7.3%; Malay, 7.7%; and Indian, 5.7% (P value = .44). The prevalence increased with age and was higher in men. Of the range of risk factors evaluated, only myopic refractive error (<−0.5 D) was significantly associated with a lower risk for AMD (odds ratio, 0.44; P < .001, compared with emmetropia) in Chinese men.
Conclusions The prevalence of AMD was similar in the 3 major ethnic groups in Asia and comparable with white populations. Myopic refractive error was associated with reduced risk of AMD in Chinese men.