Characterizing Disease Burden and Progression of Geographic Atrophy Secondary to Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Usha Chakravarthy, Clare C. Bailey, Robert L. Johnston, Martin McKibbin, Rehna S. Khan, Sajjad Mahmood, Louise Downey, Narendra Dhingra, Christopher Brand, Christopher J. Brittain, Jeffrey R. Willis, Sarah Rabhi, Anushini Muthutantri, Ronald A. Cantrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To understand levels of disease burden and progression in a real-world setting among patients from the United Kingdom with bilateral geographic atrophy (GA) secondary to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Design: Retrospective cohort analysis of a multicenter electronic medical record (EMR) database. Participants: Patients who were aged ≥50 years with bilateral GA and no history of choroidal neovascularization (CNV) and who attended 1 of 10 clinical sites using the EMR. Methods: A deidentified data set was constructed from the records held at the 10 sites. An algorithm was used to extract cases with a GA diagnosis, of which 1901 had bilateral GA and form the basis of this report. A sample of records randomly selected from each center was used to validate disease definitions. Main Outcome Measures: Progression to blindness (visual acuity [VA] <20 letters or Snellen 3/60 in the better-seeing eye), driving ineligibility (VA ≤70 letters or Snellen 6/12 in the better-seeing eye), progression to CNV, loss of 10 or more letters, and mean change in VA over time. Results: At first record of GA, 7.1% had a VA in the better-seeing eye equal to or lower than the cutoff for blindness registration and 71.1% had a VA that would have rendered them ineligible to drive. Over time, 16% became legally blind (median time to outcome, 6.2 years) and 66.7% became ineligible to drive (median time to outcome, 1.6 years). In the worse-seeing eye, 40.1% lost ≥10 letters in 2.4 years. Among patients with baseline and 24-month VA measurements, mean VA decline was 6.1 letters in the worse-seeing eye (n = 413) and 12.4 letters in the better-seeing eye (n = 414). The rate of progression to CNV in either eye was 7.4% per patient-year. Conclusions: At initial diagnosis, based on VA in the better-seeing eye, a high proportion of patients with bilateral GA were ineligible to drive and approximately 7% were eligible for UK blindness registration. The subsequent reduction in VA that occurred in the better-seeing eye would render a further two-thirds ineligible to drive. These findings emphasize the severity of the visual disability associated with GA secondary to AMD.

Original languageEnglish
Early online date1 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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