Cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are both leading causes of blindness in the United States, but scientists have been uncertain if the two diseases may be linked. Researchers have just completed a study to assess the risk of developing AMD after cataract surgery.
4,477 participants in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), a multicenter, controlled, randomized clinical trial were assessed every six months for at least five years.
Emily Y. Chew, MD, of the National Eye Institute and her colleagues evaluated the data and compared the risk of AMD in participants who had cataracts removed with those who have not had the surgery.
Their conclusions? The AREDS results showed no clear effect of cataract surgery on the risk of progression to advanced AMD, which may reassure patients with AMD who are considering cataract surgery.
SOURCE: Risk of Advanced Age-Related Macular Degeneration after Cataract Surgery in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study: AREDS Report 25, Chew et al, Ophthalmology – February 2009 (Vol. 116, Issue 2, Pages 297-303.