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April 2004

Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Treating the Whole Patient

Arch Ophthalmol. 2004;122(4):648-649. doi:10.1001/archopht.122.4.648

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of legal blindnessin persons 65 years or older in the United States, affects more than 10 millionAmericans and perhaps an equal number of persons in Western Europe.1 As the baby boomers—some already in their 50s—getolder, these numbers will only increase. The Beaver Dam Eye Study, BeaverDam, Wis, found the prevalence of advanced AMD in persons 75 years and olderto be 7.8%.2 In both Australia and the UnitedKingdom, the prevalence of blindness among those older than 85 years who haveAMD has been reported to be 18.5%, and in the United Kingdom AMD is responsiblefor 95% of blindness in this age group.3,4 InDenmark, the 1-year incidence of legal blindness after the age of 80 yearsis 212 cases per 1 million; AMD accounts for 60% of all blind persons aged60 to 80 years.5