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November 1, 2005

Age-Related Eye Disease Study Severity Scale and Simplified Severity Scale for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Arch Ophthalmol. 2005;123(11):1598-1599. doi:10.1001/archopht.123.11.1598

Two Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) reports1,2 in this issue of the ARCHIVES formulate risk scales for advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The AREDS, a landmark randomized clinical trial from the National Eye Institute, Bethesda, Md, examines the effect of zinc and antioxidant supplements on the natural history of AMD and cataract.3,4 Derived from the largest AMD natural history study to date, these new data provide practical tools for ophthalmologists to predict risk of progression to advanced AMD (either neovascular AMD or central geographic atrophy) among individuals with varying signs of early involvement (intermediate or large drusen and/or retinal pigmentary abnormalities). The full AREDS Severity Scale,1 while an important research tool in the assessment of retinal photographs, is clearly beyond the scope of routine examinations performed by ophthalmologists. To clinicians, the AREDS Simplified Severity Scale2 is straightforward, easy to use, intuitive, and clinically relevant.

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