Drusen prevalence and pigmentary changes in Caucasians aged 18-54 years

G. Silvestri, M.A. Williams, C. McAuley, K. Oakes, E. Sillery, D.C. Henderson, S. Ferguson, V. Silvestri, K.A. Muldrew, Michael Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Aims and Purpose The aim of this study was to describe the prevalence and characteristics of drusen and pigmentary changes in a middle-aged population.

Methods Retinal images from 500 individuals aged 18–54 years were included. The source of participants was two UK optometry practices. Retinal images were graded using the Wisconsin Age-Related
Maculopathy Grading System. However, owing to the relatively young age of the population studied, a new category of drusen of smaller size (o31.5mm) was introduced.

Results Drusen were identi?ed within the central macular grid in 91.48% of all gradable eyes and in 444 subjects. Drusen sized o31.5mm were present in 89.7% of eyes, drusen sized 431.5mm and o63mm were present in 45.9% of all eyes and drusen 463mm and o125mm were present in only 1.7% of eyes. No eye had drusen larger or equal to 125mm. Very few eyes (1.2%) showed pigmentary changes within the grid. Drusen load increased with increasing age, P o0.001.

Conclusions The frequency of drusen in a younger Caucasian population aged 18–54 years is high, with 91.48% of all gradable eyes having drusen. The most frequent drusen subtype was hard distinct drusen o31.5mm. No druse greater or equal in size to 125mm was seen. Pigmentary changes are rare. Eye(2012) 26, 1357–1362; doi:10.1038/eye.2012.165; published online 17 August 2012
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1357-1362
Number of pages6
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2012


  • age-related maculopathy
  • drusen
  • pigmentary changes
  • epidemiology
  • macula

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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