Cataract surgery and AMD: there's no link

May 16, 2006

Cataract surgery and AMD: there?s no link

There is no association between cataract surgery and the risk of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) progression, according to Susan Bressler, MD, director of the Wilmer Photograph Reading Center, Wilmer Eye Institute, John Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, US, presenting at the annual ARVO meeting.

Bressler announced the results of a large, clinic-based, longitudinal cohort study, of data from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), which explored a possible association between cataract surgery and the progression of neovascular AMD. Bressler and her colleagues analysed outcomes following 1,704 cataract surgeries and 543 neovascular AMD events after baseline among 8,152 eyes with a median follow-up of nine years.

The study group found that, at five years post surgery, the risk of developing neovascular AMD was around 10% higher than in those that had not undergone cataract surgery. However, overall the group concluded that this increase did not achieve statistical significance; hence, they refuted the claim that cataract surgery predisposes patients to neovascular AMD.