Six-Year Incidence and Progression of Age-Related Macular Degeneration in Kenya Nakuru Eye Disease Cohort Study

Andrew Bastawrous, Wanjiku Mathenge, Tunde Peto, Nisha Shah, Kevin Wing, Hillary Rono, Helen A Weiss, David Macleod, Allen Foster, Matthew Burton, Hannah Kuper

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Importance: The incidence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is unknown in Africa.

Objective: To estimate the 6-year cumulative incidence and progression of AMD in older adults (≥50 years old) in Nakuru, Kenya.

Design, Setting, and Participants: This study assessed a population-based cohort with 6-year follow-up of 4414 participants who had a complete assessment. Random cluster sampling with probability proportionate to size procedures was used to select a representative, cross-sectional sample of adults 50 years and older from January 26, 2007, through November 11, 2008. A 6-year follow-up was undertaken from January 7, 2013, through March 12, 2014. On both occasions, a comprehensive ophthalmic examination was performed that included logMAR visual acuity, digital retinal photography, and grading of images at Moorfields Eye Hospital Reading Centre. Data were collected on general health and risk factors.

Main Outcomes and Measures: Incident AMD in participants with no AMD at baseline and progression from early to late AMD.

Results: A total of 1453 of the 2900 individuals (50.1%) at risk for AMD were followed up after 6 years (mean [SD] age, 60.7 [8.2] years; 635 female [49.5%]; 799 Kikuyu [62.3%], 324 Kalenjin [25.3%], and 159 other [12.4%]); 1282 had data on AMD status at follow-up. Of these, 202 developed early AMD, and no participants developed late AMD. The 6-year weighted (for loss to follow-up) cumulative incidence of early AMD was 164.2 per 1000 persons (95% CI, 136.7-195.9 per 1000 persons). Two individuals with baseline early AMD from the 142 at risk had developed late AMD at follow-up, with a 6-year cumulative incidence of progression from early to late AMD of 24.5 per 1000 persons (95% CI, 5.0-111.7 per 1000 persons). Cumulative incidence of AMD increased with age (≥80 years old vs 50-59 years old: 1.8; 95% CI, 0.9-3.5) and was higher in women (female vs male: 1.6; 95% CI, 1.2-2.1) and persons with diabetes (diabetes vs no diabetes: 1.7; 95% CI, 1.0-2.8).

Conclusions and Relevance: In Kenya, more than 100 000 estimated new cases of AMD, mainly early AMD, will develop every year in individuals 50 years or older, although a 50% loss to follow-up and wide CIs for progression to late AMD limit definitive conclusions from these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-638
JournalJAMA Ophthalmology
Issue number6
Early online date11 May 2017
Publication statusEarly online date - 11 May 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Kenya
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Visual Acuity
  • Journal Article
  • Multicenter Study


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