Vision loss relentless in advanced AMD patients

January 16, 2014

Patients who develop advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) undergo a precipitous loss of vision, concluded the researchers of this study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Ophthalmology.

Patients who develop advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) undergo a precipitous loss of vision, concluded the researchers of this study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Ophthalmology.

Researchers from the National Eye Institute, EMMES Corporation, and the University of Wisconsin followed up on 3,549 patients from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) for an additional 5 years after the initial trial of antioxidant vitamins and minerals was finished. Patients in the initial trial were aged 55 to 80 years and were followed for a median of 6.5 years.

Researchers noted the development of the varying stages of age-related macular degeneration in patients and changes in visual acuity. In addition, they measured the rates of progression to large drusen and advanced AMD with annual fundus photographs assessed centrally. BCVA was also measured annually.

The risk of progression to advanced AMD increased with increasing age (P = 0.01) and severity of drusen. Women and current smokers had an increased risk of neovascular AMD (P = 0.005 and P

Rates of progression to large drusen increased with an increased severity of baseline drusen; a full 70.9% of patients with bilateral medium drusen progressed to large drusen, and 13.8% to advanced AMD in 10 years. Median visual acuity at 10 years in eyes with large baseline drusen who never developed advanced AMD was 20/25. In eyes that did develop advanced AMD, median visual acuity was 20/200.

To read the abstract of this study, click here.