A study which evaluated the incidence of age-related macular degeneration in the United States revealed that it is down to 6.5 percent from the 9.4 percent reported 15 years ago. The details are reported in the January issue of Archives of Ophthalmology. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison studied data from 2005 to 2008. 7,081 individuals age 40 and older participated in the study. In addition to the overall prevalence being 6.5 percent, non-Hispanic black individuals age 60 and older had a lower incidence of any form of AMD than non-Hispanic white individuals of equivalent age. The study findings are consistent with results from another population-based study. Researchers hypothesize that an increased public awareness of the causes of AMD and changes in behaviors that contribute to AMD are the factors behind the drop in cases of AMD. While researchers are encouraged by the decrease in the prevalence of the disease, AMD is still a major cause of vision loss in the United States.