Is the Incidence of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Declining?

The Beaver Dam Eye Study (BDES) demonstrated a decreased 5-year incidence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in patients in later birth cohorts. Similarly, the prevalence of AMD in US adults older than 40 was 6.5% in the 2005-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey compared to 9.4% in the 1988-1994 report. With increased number of insured patients, routine ophthalmic examination, and increasing average age of population, we would expect the prevalence of AMD to increase. What could be causing the decline in the incidence of AMD?

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