Factors that may increase your risk of macular degeneration include:

  • Age. Your risk of macular degeneration increases as you age, especially after age 50. Macular degeneration is most common in people older than 65.
  • Family history of macular degeneration. If someone in your family had macular degeneration, you're more likely to develop macular degeneration.
  • Race. Macular degeneration is more common in whites (Caucasians) than it is in other races.
  • Smoking. Smoking cigarettes increases your risk of macular degeneration.
  • Obesity. Being severely overweight increases the chance that early or intermediate macular degeneration will progress to the more severe form of the disease.
  • Diet. A diet that includes few fruits and vegetables may increase the risk of macular degeneration.
  • High blood pressure. Diseases that affect the circulatory system, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, may increase the risk of macular degeneration.
  • Inflammation. Your immune system can cause swelling of your body tissues, which may increase the risk of macular degeneration.
  • Cardiovascular disease. If you have had diseases that affected your heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular disease), you may be at higher risk of macular degeneration.
Dec. 01, 2012