Purpose: To study the association between chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Methods: Data used in this retrospective, frequency-matched cohort study were acquired from the Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2000, which includes medical claims and registration files for 1 000 000 enrolees in the Taiwan National Health Insurance programme. The HBV cohort contained 17 796 patients who received a diagnosis of chronic HBV infection between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2012. The non-HBV cohort contained 71 184 participants who were frequency-matched by age, sex and year of index date for comparison. Participants were followed until the end of 2013, and those who developed AMD during the study period were identified. A Cox proportional hazards regression model was used to compare the risk of AMD between cohorts. Results: The incidence of any type of AMD in all participants was 3.88 per 1000 person-years (PY; 2.27 per 1000 PY in the HBV cohort; 1.61 per 1000 PY in the non-HBV cohort). Compared with the non-HBV cohort, the adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for any type of AMD in the HBV cohort was 1.41 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.23–1.63; p < 0.001]. This significant positive association was stronger among patients who exhibited disease progression from nonexudative to exudative AMD (adjusted HR = 1.74, 95% CI: 1.01–2.99). Conclusion: Our results suggest that patients with chronic HBV infection in Taiwan have a significantly elevated risk of developing any type of AMD and that HBV infection may accelerate the progression of AMD.
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