Macular degeneration linked to heart attack, stroke death

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Those with late stage, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) have five times the risk of dying from a heart attack and 10 times the risk of dying from a stroke.

An Australian research team from the Centre for Vision Research in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Sydney discovered the link during the course of their ten-year study of people aged 49 and over. They also found that AMD doubled the risk of heart attack and stroke in those under 75 when the study began.

Age-related macular degeneration is the most common cause of blindness in the elderly. The report can be found in the Feb. 28 online issue of the British Journal of Ophthalmology.