(HealthDay News) — Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) predicts poorer survival, especially among women aged ≥80 years, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Kathryn L. Pedula, from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, OR, and colleagues examined the correlation between AMD and mortality in older women. Data were included for 1,202 women with graded fundus photographs at the Year 10 visit of the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures.

The researchers found that the prevalence of any AMD was 40.5% at baseline (36.7% early AMD and 3.8% late AMD). Over 15 years of follow-up, cumulative mortality was 51.6%. There was no significant correlation between AMD presence or severity and all-cause or cause-specific mortality. Analyses were stratified according to age group because there was a significant correlation between AMD and age in predicting mortality. In women <80 years, late AMD correlated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality (hazard ratio, 2.61) after adjustment for covariates. In women aged ≥80 years, early AMD correlated with all-cause and non-CVD, non-cancer mortality (hazard ratios, 1.39 and 1.45, respectively), while any AMD correlated with all-cause and CVD mortality (hazard ratios, 1.42 and 1.45, respectively).

“These results suggest that AMD may serve as a useful prognostic indicator for women who may benefit from risk factor modification, particularly those aged ≥80,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Merck Sharp & Dohme.

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