Risk Factor

What is a risk factor?

A risk factor is anything that may increase a person's chance of developing a disease. It may be an activity, such as smoking, diet, family history, or many other things. Different diseases, including cancers, have different risk factors.

Although these factors can increase a person's risk, they do not necessarily cause the disease. Some people with one or more risk factors never develop the disease, while others develop disease and have no known risk factors.

But, knowing your risk factors to any disease can help to guide you into the appropriate actions, including changing behaviors and being clinically monitored for the disease.

What are the risk factors for AMD?

Possible risk factors for AMD include:

  • Gender
    According to some studies, women are at greater risk than men.
  • Age
  • Smoking
    Recent studies have shown that smoking is a major risk factor for age-related macular degeneration.
  • Family History
    Persons with a family history of AMD may have a higher risk of developing AMD.
  • Hypertension and cardiovascular disease
  • Obesity
    Studies have indicated that obesity may be linked to the progression of AMD.
  • High blood cholesterol levels
    Persons with elevated blood cholesterol levels may be at higher risk for wet AMD.


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