The Age/Gene Environment Susceptibility (AGES) Study

The Age/Gene Environment Susceptibility (AGES) Study is a phase of the Group Study of the Icelandic Heart Association that has been in progress since 1967. The Group Study includes only individuals living in the Reykjavik, Iceland area born between 1907 and 1935.  Individuals in that cohort were invited to participate in the AGES study, which includes an eye component.  The main goal of the study is to investigate which environmental, genetic, and general health factors in people of middle age contribute greatest to health and capability in later years.

The study has been arranged in cooperation with the National Institute on Aging of the United States Department of Health with support from the National Institutes of Health in the United States, as well as the Icelandic government.  It is hoped that the results of the study will be easily understood by the general public in the form of new knowledge about what causes diseases.  Presumably, these results will lead to improved treatments and preventive measures in the future.

The Ocular Epidemiology Research Group’s role in the study has been to grade the digital retinal images of participants for signs of diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration and vascular changes. The eye component of the AGES is in its second examination phase and as of March 1, 2010, almost 15,000 eyes have been evaluated by the Reading Center for this study.

Main study website: http://www.hjarta.is/english/ages