The major risk factors for
age-related macular degeneration (AMD) include:
- Older age.
Age is the biggest risk factor for developing AMD. Less than 10% of
people ages 43 to 54 have AMD. After age 75, more than 30% of people may have
some form of it.2
- A family
history of the disease. You are much more likely to get AMD if a close relative
- Race. Whites appear to have a higher risk than blacks or
- Smoking. People who smoke are about twice as likely to
develop AMD than nonsmokers. The risk appears to be higher for people who have
been heavy smokers or who have smoked for a long time.2
- One eye with wet AMD. Nearly half of people with
wet AMD in one eye get wet AMD in the other eye within 5 years.1
Other risk factors for developing AMD may include:2
- Deposits at the back of the eye called
drusen. Eyes with large, soft drusen deposits are at a
greater risk for developing abnormal blood vessels and wet AMD.
diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Low dietary intake of
carotenoids, antioxidant vitamins, and zinc.
Genes may play
an important role in your risk for AMD. Researchers have found certain genes
that seem to be linked to AMD.
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