Having age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in one eye was associated with an increased incidence of AMD and accelerated progression of the debilitating disease in the other eye, writes author Ronald E. Gangnon, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, and colleagues.
AMD is thought to be a symmetric disease, although one eye may precede the other in progression.
The authors examined the effect of severity of AMD in one eye on the incidence, progression and regression in the other eye. Data from 4,379 participants in the Beaver Dam Eye Study were used. Retinal photographs were used to assess the incidence, progression and regression of AMD.
While more severe AMD in one eye was associated with increased incidence and accelerated progression in the other eye, less severe AMD in one eye was associated with less progression in the other eye.
"In a cohort that was observed for 20 years, we showed that AMD severity in one eye largely tracks AMD severity in the fellow eye at all stages of the disease. ... Our model demonstrated the effect of one eye on the incidence and progression of AMD in its fellow eye across the entire continuum of AMD severity."
JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online October 23, 2014. doi:10.1001/.jamaopthalmol.2014.4252.
Authors made conflict of interest disclosures. The National Institutes of Health provided funding for the entire study, further support for data analyses came from an unrestricted grant from Research to Prevent Blindness, New York. Please see article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
Media Advisory: To contact author Ronald Klein, M.D., M.P.H., call Emily Kumlie.
The link for this study will be live at the embargo time: http://archopht.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?doi=10.1001/jamaophthalmology.2014.4252.