Wet AMD sufferers unaware of pre-existing AMD

July 14, 2008

Current screening of patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) does not sufficiently identify those patients most at risk of wet AMD and hence is unable to prevent its development, according to a report published in the June 2008 issue of Eye.

Current screening of patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) does not sufficiently identify those patients most at risk of wet AMD and hence is unable to prevent its development, according to a report published in the June 2008 issue of Eye.

Itay Chowers, MD of the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Israel and colleagues conducted a retrospective analysis of NVAMD subjects (n=268) and compared characteristics between those subjects who were aware of their AMD before the NVAMD diagnosis (n=83), and those who were not (n=185).

The researchers found that there were no significant differences between the two groups in terms of demographic characteristics, visual acuity, lesion size and lesion composition. Patients who were not previously aware of their AMD were more likely to have a history of smoking (41%) than those who were aware (26%); patients with a positive family history of AMD were more likely to be aware of their own AMD before the NVAMD diagnosis (20%) than those who did not (10%).

The team concluded that the majority of patients receiving an NVAMD diagnosis were previously unaware that they had AMD, although early AMD detection may not entail detection of treatable choroidal neovascularization lesions.