Population-Based Age Group Specific Annual Incidence Rates of Symptomatic Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Jukka M Saari*
Department of Ophthalmology, Helsinki University Eye and Ear Hospital, Helsinki, and Department of Ophthalmology, Central Hospital of Central Finland, Jyväskylä, Finland

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© Jukka M. Saari; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Runeberginkatu 35.A.4, 00100 Helsinki, Finland; Tel: +358 405077479; Fax: +358 9 471 73163; E-mail:



To study the population-based annual incidence rates of exudative, dry and all cases of symptomatic age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in different age and sex groups.


This is a one year, prospective, population-based study on all consecutive new patients with AMD in the hospital district of Central Finland. The diagnosis was confirmed in all patients with slit lamp biomicroscopy, optical coherence tomography (OCT) using a Spectralis HRA + OCT device, and the Heidelberg Eye Explorer program. Fluorescein angiograms were taken when needed.


The population-based annual incidence rates of all cases of symptomatic AMD increased from 0.03% (95% CI, 0.01-0.05%) in the age group 50-59 years to 0.82% (95% CI, 0.55-1.09%) in the age group 85-89 years and were 0.2% (95% CI, 0.17-0.24%) in exudative, 0.11% (95% CI, 0.09-0.14%) in dry, and 0.32% (95% CI, 0.28-0.36%) in all cases of AMD in the age group 60 years and older. During the next 20 years in Central Finland the population-based annual incidence rates can be estimated to increase to 0.27% (95% CI, 0.24-0.30%) in exudative, to 0.13% (95% CI, 0.11-0.15%) in dry, and to 0.41% (95% CI, 0.37-0.45%) in all cases of AMD in the age group 60 years and older. The population-based annual incidence of AMD did not show statistically significant differences between males and females (p>0.1).


The population-based age-group specific annual incidence rates of symptomatic AMD of this study may help to plan health care provision for patients of AMD.

Keywords: Age-related macular degeneration, incidence, macula, optical coherence tomography, retina.