Clinical Study

Eye (2007) 21, 512–517. doi:10.1038/sj.eye.6702254; published online 27 January 2006

Early age-related maculopathy in eyes after cataract surgery

Commercial relationship: None

T Q Pham1, S Cugati1, E Rochtchina1, P Mitchell1, A Maloof2 and J J Wang1

  1. 1Department of Ophthalmology (Centre for Vision Research, Westmead Millennium Institute), Westmead Hospital, University of Sydney, Westmead, NSW, Australia
  2. 2Department of Ophthalmology, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, NSW, Australia

Correspondence: JJ Wang, Department of Ophthalmology (Centre for Vision Research, Westmead Millenium Institute), Westmead Hospital, University of Sydney, Hawkesbury Road, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia. Tel: +61 2 9845 5006; Fax: +61 2 9845 8345. E-mail:

Received 3 November 2005; Accepted 7 December 2005; Published online 27 January 2006.





To assess age-related maculopathy (ARM) in eyes of patients who had undergone cataract surgery for at least a year.



Consecutive patients aged 60+ years who had undergone cataract surgery at Westmead Hospital, Sydney, Australia, during 2001–2003 were examined in 2004. Interview using standardized questionnaires and stereo retinal photography was performed. Retinal photographs were graded using the Wisconsin ARM grading system. The proportions with ARM were compared between surgical and nonsurgical eyes, and between this surgical cohort and the Blue Mountains Eye Study (BMES) population.



Of the 622 eligible patients, 454 (73%) were re-examined, with a mean follow-period of 2.8 years. Surgical eyes had a higher proportion of early ARM compared to nonsurgical eyes (15.2 vs10.3%, P=0.07) and to the early ARM prevalence found in BMES participants of similar age (14.5 vs6.9%, P<0.01), which persisted after age standardization to the BMES population (9.7 vs6.9%, P<0.05).



We found an increased prevalence of early ARM in surgical eyes of patients 1–3 years after cataract surgery. Whether this increased early ARM prevalence leads to an increased prevalence of late ARM in the long-term warrants further investigation.


cataract surgery, age-related maculopathy, prevalence, Blue Mountains Eye Study



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