AMD linked with race, study finds

February 13, 2008

A population-based study showed that white patients are more likely to show signs of age-related macular degeneration than black patients.

Baltimore-A population-based study showed that white patients are more likely to show signs of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) than black patients.

Patients that were aged 65 years and older showed no difference in the prevalence of drusen, based on race. White patients were more likely than blacks to have drusen 64 mm or larger (36% versus 28%), drusen 125 mm or larger (11% versus 5%), and confluent drusen (16% versus 8%) in the central macular zone (p = 0.001 for all), reported Susan Bressler, MD, Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University, and colleagues.

White patients were significantly more likely to have focal hyperpigmentation in the central zone than black patients (7.1% versus 2.5%, p = 0.001), according to the study published in the February issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

The results, the researchers said, "suggest that black individuals have similar rates of fundus features in the pericentral zone but do not seem to manifest [AMD] features, particularly those that impart risk for disease progression, in the central zone."