PURPOSE: To estimate the prevalence of early and late age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in India. METHODS: Of 7518 people aged 60 years and older identified from randomly sampled villages in North and South India, 5853 (78%) attended an eye examination including fundus photography. Fundus images were graded according to the Wisconsin Age-Related Maculopathy Grading System. RESULTS: Fundus images were ungradable in 1587 people, mainly because of cataract. People 80 years of age and older were less likely to attend the eye examination and more likely to have ungradable images. For ages 60 to 79 years, the percent prevalence (95% confidence interval [CI]) were late AMD 1.2 (0.8-1.5); and early AMD: grade 1 (soft distinct drusen or pigmentary irregularities), 39.3 (37.2-41.5); grade 2 (soft distinct drusen with pigmentary irregularities or soft indistinct or reticular drusen), 6.7 (5.8-7.6); and grade 3 (soft indistinct or reticular drusen with pigmentary irregularities), 0.2 (0.1-0.4). For ages 80 and older, the respective percent prevalence was: late AMD, 2.5 (0.4-4.7); and early AMD: grade 1, 43.1(35.7-50.6); grade 2, 8.1 (4.3-12.0); and grade 3, 0.5 (0-1.5). CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of early AMD (grades 1 and 2) is similar to that observed in Western populations, but grade 3 appears to be lower. The prevalence of late AMD is comparable to that in Western populations in the age group 60 to 79 years. It is likely that the prevalence in the 80 and older age group is underestimated.
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