Prevalence of age-related macular degeneration in an elderly UK Caucasian population-The Bridlington Eye Assessment Project: a cross-sectional study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • C Wilde
  • A Poostchi
  • H K MacNab
  • J G Hillman
  • S A Vernon
  • W M Amoaku

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, Division of Clinical Neurosciences, B Floor, EENT Centre, Queen's Medical Centre, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.
  • The Medical Centre, Station Avenue, Bridlington, YO16 4LZ, UK.
  • University Hospital, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham and Honorary Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.


ImportanceThere is paucity of data on prevalence and disease asymmetry of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), particularly the earlier stages, in the UK population.Objective and PurposeTo determine the prevalence of age-related macular degeneration in an elderly Caucasian UK population.DesignCross-sectional population study, 2002-2006.ParticipantsResidents in the study area of Bridlington aged 65 years and older.MethodsFull-ophthalmic examination was undertaken in 3549 participants, of eligible 6319 Caucasian population (response rate of 56%). Non-stereoscopic Colour fundus photographs (30°) were graded masked using a modified Rotterdam Classification for 3475 (98%) participants with gradable images. Prevalence for different AMD grades were calculated. Demographic details were analysed then integrated with the AMD gradings for full analysis. Prevalence rates for the different AMD Grades were calculated, as well as the age-specific prevalences.ResultsAMD prevalence in the worst eye were 38.5% grade 0, 41.4% grade 1, 12.8% grade 2, 2.8% grade 3, and 4.6% grade 4. Geographic atrophy (grade 4a) occurred in 2.5%, and neovascular AMD (grade 4b) in 1.8%. Prevalence increased with age such that grade 4 (advanced) AMD was 2.2% in the 65-69 years group, 15.8% for the 85-90, and 21.2% for over 90 years. There was significant asymmetry between the two eyes of individuals with advanced AMD (P<0.001), such that vision loss was unilateral. Persons with more advanced AMD grades were more likely to be dissatisfied with their vision.ConclusionsAdvanced AMD occurs more commonly in the UK Caucasian population than previously reported. Significant asymmetry between the two eyes occurs in individuals with unilateral advanced AMD so that visual impairment statistics do not represent true prevalence of advanced AMD. Persons with more advanced AMD were more likely to be dissatisfied with their vision.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1042-1050
Number of pages9
JournalEye (London, England)
Issue number7
Early online date10 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017


  • Age Distribution, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Cross-Sectional Studies, Diagnostic Techniques, Ophthalmological, European Continental Ancestry Group, Female, Humans, Male, Photography, Population Surveillance, Prevalence, Retrospective Studies, Risk Assessment, Risk Factors, Sex Distribution, United Kingdom/epidemiology, Wet Macular Degeneration/diagnosis