USC Roski Eye Institute researchers publish largest eye study of age-related macular degeneration in Latino population that analyzes impact on quality of life

Key study findings include:
– Latinos with bilateral AMD or more severe AMD have significantly lower quality of life
– Less health care access, utilization among Latinos may contribute to quality of life decline
LOS ANGELES, May 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — The University of Southern California (USC) Roski Eye Institute researchers and clinicians published results of the largest population-based study of adult Latinos and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in the National Eye Institute-funded “Los Angeles Latino Eye Study (LALES).” The study, published in JAMA Ophthalmology, is the first to analyze the risk and prevalence of early and late stage AMD and its impact on quality of life for older Latinos.
According to the National Eye Institute, AMD is a chronic, progressive disease affecting 2 million Americans and typically diagnosed in those age 50-60. The LALES study, conducted among 4,876 Latinos in Los Angeles with a mean age cohort of 54.8 years old, indicates that Latinos diagnosed with bilateral AMD with large drusen (the lipids or fatty proteins that are yellow deposits under the retina) and depigmentation as well as a more severe AMD had a substantially lower health-related quality of life as compared to those with AMD lesions in only one eye.

In addition, the findings point to a more significant health-related quality of life decline beginning in early rather than later stages of the disease. For instance, the study shows 80 percent of early AMD participants reported difficulty driving as opposed to 43 percent who had late AMD. As well, 91.6 percent of early AMD participants reported vision-related social function impact and 74.4 percent had near vision problems as compared to 67.7 percent and 46.9 percent respectively of late AMD participants who reported the same. The researchers also found that while participants may not have a measurable decrease in their visual acuity, their reported reduced visual function may possibly be the result of contrast sensitivity associated with early-stage AMD………….

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Source: PR Newswire