Verana Health study of patients with dry AMD uncovers new insights

According to investigators, the study used curated real-world data from the IRIS Registry to report risk of progression by stage.

The study used IRIS Registry data to review dry AMD.

Verana Health recently published results of a study it conducted to analyze American Academy of Ophthalmology (Academy) IRIS Registry (Intelligent Research in Sight) data for insights into characterizing the most common form of vision loss in the elderly population, age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The study, "Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Distribution of Visual Acuity and Progression Risk in a Large Registry," is a novel study to report on how the stage of disease, as determined by visual acuity (VA), can help predict the risk of progression in dry AMD (dAMD) by stage.

Macular degeneration occurs when a person's retina becomes damaged over time, leading to different levels of vision loss. There are two types of AMD: dry and wet. Dry AMD occurs in 85% to 90% of all AMD patients. The most advanced form of dAMD is called geographic atrophy (GA), a condition in which regions of the macula cease to function. There are no available treatments for GA, which impacts roughly 1.5 million Americans and can lead to irreversible vision loss and even blindness.

The study used curated real-world data (RWD) from the Academy IRIS Registry—managed by Verana Health's VeraQ® population health data engine—to better understand how patients progress through the stages of dAMD. After searching a database of de-identified patient records, researchers evaluated a cohort of approximately 645,000 patients with confirmed dAMD.

Tracking these patients over a four-year period (2016-2019), the study determined that patients with a lower ability to see, or lower VA, at the beginning of the study period had more advanced dAMD. Researchers also concluded that as these patients' disease worsened, so did their vision. More specifically, the study concluded that:

  • Patients with intermediate dAMD were four times more likely to progress to GA than patients with mild dAMD.
  • There was a larger variation in VA among patients with GA compared to those with mild or intermediate dAMD.
  • VA progression generally is faster with each progressive dAMD stage.
  • Disease progression to GA and wet AMD occurred much faster once a patient reached the intermediate dAMD stage.
  • Results speak to the urgent need for an effective therapy to avoid long-term effects of dAMD and GA.

"The clinical recommendation we can draw from this study is that if you have a patient with intermediate AMD, you need to watch them more closely than someone with mild dry AMD," said Theodore Leng, M.D., director of research at the Byers Eye Institute at Stanford University School of Medicine and a Verana Health medical advisor. "These findings highlight the need for new medication options to reverse or delay the worsening of dry AMD and improve the quality of life for patients. We are hopeful that the results will guide novel therapies for dry AMD that are on the cusp of being approved."

The IRIS Registry is one of the largest specialty society clinical data registries in all of medicine, containing ophthalmic records for more than 75 million patients stretching approximately 10 years. Verana Health is the end-to-end data and technology partner for the IRIS Registry, responsible for data curation, electronic health record (EHR) integration, analytics, practice support, and quality reporting for physicians contributing to the registry.

To request a copy of the recently published study, conducted by Dr. Leng and a team of researchers from Verana Health, visit: veranahealth.com/amd-manuscript.

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