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December 1993

Race, Macular Degeneration, and Diabetic Maculopathy

Arch Ophthalmol. 1993;111(12):1603-1604. doi:10.1001/archopht.1993.01090120017005

We read with interest the editorial by Jampol and Tielsch1 in the December 1992 issue of the Archives. The authors pointed out that data from the Macular Photocoagulation Study indicate that choroidal neovascularization resulting from age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is rare in black patients. They speculated that increased melanin may have a protective or inhibiting effect, mitigating against the development of choroidal neovascularization, and they suggested that other darkly pigmented and intermediately pigmented ethnic groups be studied. This prompted us to look at our experience with AMD at the Phoenix (Ariz) Indian Medical Center.

We have been performing macular laser photocoagulation at the Phoenix Indian Medical Center since January 1985. Through February 1993, 561 macular laser treatments have been performed. All but three of these have been for diabetic maculopathy. Two macular grid treatments for nondiabetic central retinal vein occlusion and one grid treatment for nondiabetic branch retinal vein