Cataract surgery and risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) [ 2004 - 2006 ]

Also known as: Cataract surgery and age-related macular degeneration

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: Prof Jie Jin Wang (Principal investigator) ,  Anthony Maloof Prof Paul Mitchell Prof Wayne Smith

Brief description Cataract surgery currently ranks as one of the most frequently performed and successful surgical procedures in Australia (125,000 operations-year). Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the principal cause of moderate visual impairment and blindness, currently accounting for blindness in between 17,300 and 30,400 Australians. Past studies have not shown a definite relationship between cataract and AMD. Follow-up data from clinical case series and from two older population-based studies (the Beaver Dam and Blue Mountains Eye Studies) suggested that cataract surgery might increase the risk of subsequent development of AMD in operated eyes of older persons. Such an increased AMD risk in eyes after cataract surgery appears to be both short term (observation from clinical case series) and long term (evidence from population-based studies), and persists after taking into consideration age, sex, smoking, preexisting early stage lesions of the disease and correlation between both eyes. The proposed study is to follow a large number of older patients who are undergoing cataract surgery in Western Sydney Eye Hospital and in two ophthalmologists' private rooms. Rates of subsequent development of AMD will be compared between operated and non-operated eyes, and also between the surgical cohort and the Blue Mountains Eye Study cohort. We will document macular conditions carefully before and after surgery to exclude the possibility of confounding issues. We will also investigate whether the increased risk occurs in certain subgroups of patients at high risk of AMD. If an increased AMD risk from cataract surgery is confirmed in subgroups of patients, a modified clinical practice may be indicated, to maximize cataract surgery benefit and minimize the risk of vision loss from AMD after surgery. Changes may include additional patient information and consent about this risk, delayed cataract surgery within limits of visual function, and close postoperative follow up.

Funding Amount $AUD 339,750.00

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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