The study was done to summarise the geographic distribution of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) incidence.

Twenty-four population-based studies (70 123 individuals aged 55 years or older) were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled global annual incidences of early and late AMD were 1.59% (95% CI 1.12% to 2.10%) and 0.19% (95% CI: 0.13% to 0.28%), respectively. Individuals of European descent had the highest annual incidence of both early (2.73%, 95% CI 1.63% to 4.57%) and late (0.36%, 95% CI 0.17% to 0.75%) AMD than other ethnic groups. Average age (p=0.001) at baseline, ethnicity (p=0.001), region (p=0.043) and gender (p=0.011) were predictors for incident late AMD, while only average age (p=0.01) at baseline and ethnicity (p=0.025) was associated with incidence of early AMD.

The study concluded that the meta-analysis done offers an up-to-date overview of AMD globally, which may provide scientific guidance for the design and implementation of public health strategies such as screening programmes for AMD in both specific geographic locations and ethnic groups, as well as worldwide.