gms | German Medical Science

21st Annual Meeting of the German Retina Society and 8th Symposium of the International Society of Ocular Trauma (ISOT)

German Retina Society
International Society of Ocular Trauma

19.06. - 22.06.2008, Würzburg

Long-term Solar Radiation Damage to the Macula: A Risk Factor for Age-related Macular Degeneration

Meeting Abstract

  • Ivna Plestina-Borjan - Split/Croatia
  • M. Klinger-Lasic - Split/Croatia
  • K. Karaman - Split/Croatia

Retinologische Gesellschaft. International Society of Ocular Trauma. 21. Jahrestagung der Retinologischen Gesellschaft gemeinsam mit dem 8. Symposium der International Society of Ocular Trauma. Würzburg, 19.-22.06.2008. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2008. DocISOTRG2008P13

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: June 18, 2008

© 2008 Plestina-Borjan et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Purpose: A clinical epidemiological study has been conducted as a part of research project investigating long-term solar radiation (specially ultraviolet radiation: UVR) damage to the macula, as a factor contributing to the onset of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD).

Subjects and methods: The study included 623 subjects older than 50 from two different geographic areas, one with high solar radiation (the island of Solta – Region 1) and the other, with low solar radiation (Zagreb and its surroundings – Region 2). Individual exposure to UVR was assessed according to global exposure to sunlight, on the basis of detailed history of life-long exposure to sunlight, with special reference to professional history and geophysical specificities of the respective areas. Different grades of ARMD were based on the fundus photographs and flourescein angiography.

Results: Statistically significant relation was found between ARMD and mean daily exposure (in hours) to solar radiation in Region 1 (chi-square =186,22; p=0,000), Region 2 (chi-square =25,66; p=0,000) and in both regions together (chi-square = 216,43; p=0,000). ARMD is more frequent in the subjects belonging to the region with high solar radiation (Region 1) and with the same exposure to sunlight (eight hours and more) which goes in favor of their increased UVR exposure.

Conclusion: The results support a relationship between long-term sunlight macula damage and increased risk of ARMD.