Pterygium/pinguecula and the five-year incidence of age-related maculopathy

Thuan Quoc Pham, Jie Jin Wang, Elena Rochtchina, Paul Mitchell
American Journal of Ophthalmology 2005, 139 (3): 536-7

PURPOSE: To assess the relationship between baseline pterygium and pinguecula and the five-year incidence of age-related maculopathy (ARM).

DESIGN: Population-based longitudinal study.

METHODS: The Blue Mountains Eye Study examined 3654 residents aged 49+ years during 1992 to 1994 and then re-examined 2335 (75.1% of survivors) after five years. Retinal photographs were graded using the Wisconsin Age-Related Maculopathy Grading System. Slit-lamp examination recorded pterygium and pinguecula. Eye-specific data were analyzed using generalized estimating equation models.

RESULTS: After adjusting for age, gender, and smoking, eyes with pterygium or previous pterygium surgery had a higher risk of incident late ARM, odds ratio (OR) 3.3, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1 to 10.3, early ARM (OR 1.8, CI 1.1 to 2.9) and soft drusen (OR 2.0, CI 1.9 to 3.4), than eyes without pterygium. We found no association between pinguecula and incident ARM.

CONCLUSIONS: This study found that pterygium was associated with a two- to threefold increased risk of incident late and early ARM.

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