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November 1984

Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Blindness due to Neovascular Maculopathy

Author Affiliations

From the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md (Dr Ferris); the Wilmer Institute, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore (Dr Fine); and the State University of New York, Stony Brook (Dr Hyman).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1984;102(11):1640-1642. doi:10.1001/archopht.1984.01040031330019

• Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the four most common causes of blindness in the United States. Retinal manifestations of AMD can be categorized as either atrophic or neovascular/exudative. To the best of our knowledge, the proportion of patients legally blind due to the neovascular/exudative manifestations of this disease has not been previously reported. Data from two studies, the Framingham Eye Study and a large case-control study, demonstrate that the vast majority of patients with legal blindness due to AMD have the neovascular/exudative form of the disease. Seventy-nine percent of eyes legally blind due to AMD in the Framingham population and 90% of eyes legally blind due to AMD in the case-control study had neovascular/exudative retinopathy. This is in spite of the fact that neovascular/exudative retinopathy is a relatively infrequent complication of AMD.