In the study, Dr. Susan B. Bressler, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and colleagues found that whites 65 and older were more likely to have advanced macular degeneration than blacks -- 1.7 percent versus 1.1 percent, respectively.
What's more, a form of macular degeneration called geographic atrophy was more common among whites than blacks -- 1.8 percent compared to 0.3 percent, the researchers found.
"Such data strongly suggest that white individuals are more likely to progress to advanced vision-disabling age-related macular degeneration (certainly to geographic atrophy) than black individuals," Bressler's team concluded. The researchers also suggested that blacks may have a mechanism that protects them from age-related macular degeneration and other eye problems.
For more on corneal transplants, visit the U.S. National Eye Institute.
SOURCES: Kirk R. Wilhelmus, M.D., Ph.D., professor, ophthalmology, Baylor University College of Medicine, Houston; Joel Sugar, M.D., professor, ophthalmology and visual science, University of Illinois at Chicago Eye Center; February 2008 Archives of Ophthalmology