Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Examining the association between age-related macular degeneration and motor vehicle collision involvement: a retrospective cohort study
  1. Gerald McGwin Jr1,2,
  2. Bradford Mitchell1,
  3. Karen Searcey1,
  4. Michael A Albert1,
  5. Richard Feist1,
  6. John O Mason III1,
  7. Martin Thomley1,
  8. Cynthia Owsley1
  1. 1Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA
  2. 2Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Cynthia Owsley, Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 700 S. 18th Street, Suite 609, Birmingham, AL 35294-0009, USA; owsley{at}


Background Little is known about motor vehicle collision (MVC) risk in older drivers with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The purpose of this study is to examine associations between MVC involvement and AMD presence and severity.

Methods In a retrospective cohort study pooling the samples from four previous studies, we examined associations between MVC rate and older drivers with early, intermediate or advanced AMD as compared with those in normal eye health. MVC data were based on accident reports obtained from the state agency that compiles this information.

Results MVC rate was highest among those in normal eye health and progressively declined among those with early and intermediate disease, and then increased for those with advanced AMD. However, only for drivers with intermediate AMD was the MVC rate significantly different (lower) as compared with those in normal eye health, regardless of whether the rate was defined in terms of person-years (RR 0.34, 95% CI 0.13 to 0.89) or person-miles (RR 0.35, 95% CI 0.13 to 0.91) of driving.

Conclusions These results suggest that older drivers with intermediate AMD have a reduced risk of collision involvement. Further research should investigate whether self-regulatory driving practices by these drivers (avoiding challenging driving situations) underlies this reduced risk.

  • Epidemiology
  • Macula
  • Degeneration

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.