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Prevalence of age-related macular degeneration in Spain
  1. Spanish Eyes Epidemiological (SEE) Study Group
  1. Correspondence to Isabel Fernández-Arias, Medical Unit, Pfizer España, Avda. Europa 20-B, Parque Empresarial de La Moraleja, 28108 Alcobendas, Madrid, Spain; isabel.fernandez-arias{at}


Aim To estimate the prevalence of age-related maculopathy (ARM) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in the Spanish population aged ≥65 years.

Methods Individuals were selected by random stratified sampling of census data from eight Spanish health districts encompassing a wide geographic area. Participants underwent an ophthalmologic evaluation including fundus imaging, and ARM and AMD were defined according to the International ARM Epidemiological Study Group classification. The age- and gender-adjusted prevalences and CIs for ARM and neovascular and atrophic forms of AMD were calculated.

Results Of the 3028 individuals invited to participate, 2132 attended the ophthalmologic evaluation (840 men (70.9% response) and 1292 women (69.7% response); 978 aged 65–74 years (77.6% response), 1154 aged ≥75 years (65.3% response)). The overall prevalence of ARM and AMD was 10.3% (95% CI 8.7% to 11.8%) and 3.4% (95% CI 2.5% to 4.3%), respectively. AMD increased from 1.3% in individuals aged 65–74 years to 8.5% in those aged ≥80 years. Neovascular and atrophic AMD accounted for 1.9% and 1.5% of individuals, respectively.

Conclusions The prevalence of AMD in this large, population-based Spanish sample was similar to that observed in other large-scale population-based studies. However, the prevalence of ARM was lower than found in similar studies.

  • Choroidal neovascularisation
  • atrophic AMD
  • neovascular AMD
  • prevalence
  • epidemiology
  • neovascularisation
  • degeneration

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  • * The members of the Writing Committee and the Spanish Eyes Epidemiological (SEE) Study Group are listed in Appendix 1.

  • Funding This study was supported by Pfizer S.A.

  • Competing interests Isabel Fernández-Arias and Hae Kyung Kim work for Pfizer S.A.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Hospital Universitario La Paz, Madrid, Spain.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.