Findings Help Predict AMD Advancement

A 10-year follow-up study of participants in the original AREDS trial has been completed. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group revealed new statistics on the risk and rate of progression from early to advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Participants aged 55 to 80 years with no AMD or AMD of varying severity were followed up in the AREDS trial for a median duration of 6.5 years. When the trial ended, 3549 of the 4203 surviving participants were followed for five additional years.
Results showed that, over the 10-year period, the oldest participants with the most severe AMD at baseline had a 48.1% risk of developing neovascular (wet) AMD, and a 26.0% risk of developing central geographic atrophy (loss of central vision).
The researchers also found that rates of progression to large drusen (cellular waste deposits in the retina) increased by 70.9% in participants who started with bilateral medium drusen. 13.8% of that group progressed to advanced AMD (either neovascular AMD or central geographic atrophy).
Finally, median visual acuity at 10 years was 20/25 in eyes that originally had large drusen but never developed advanced AMD. Eyes that did develop advanced AMD had a median visual acuity of 20/200.
The study also re-confirmed that women and current smokers were at increased risk of neovascular AMD.
Source: Ten-Year Follow-up of Age-Related Macular Degeneration in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study. Emily Y. Chew, et al (JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online January 02, 2014.)