Researchers found the risk of dying from the cardiovascular conditions was at least doubled in people with AMD.
The study raises the possibility - disputed by UK experts - that drugs for the condition may be to blame. The University of Sydney research appears in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.
AMD affects the centre of the retina (macula) at the back of the eye, which is used for fine central vision tasks, such as reading and driving. It is most common in the elderly, among whom it is a major cause of untreatable blindness in developed countries. It is estimated to affect 500,000 people in the UK alone.
The Sydney team assessed the general and eye health of over 3,600 people, all aged at least 49 years at the start of the study. Of these 2,335 people were re-examined five years later, and 1,952 were examined again 10 years later. Among people under the age of 75 at the start of the study, early AMD was associated with a doubling in the risks of dying from a heart attack or stroke within the next decade.
Those with late stage disease at the start of the study had five times the risk of dying from a heart attack, and 10 times the risk of dying from a stroke.
Source - BBC