Pathways to Advanced Age-Related Macular Degeneration Examined

Distinct serum and genetic risks, associated systemic diseases seen with soft drusen, subretinal drusenoid deposits
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MONDAY, July 18, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Distinct systemic associations and serum and genetic risks have been identified for the subretinal drusenoid deposit (SDD) and non-SDD soft drusen pathways to advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a study published in the July issue of Retina.

Robert J. Thomson, from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, and colleagues classified 126 patients with AMD as SDD (with or without soft drusen) or non-SDD (drusen only) by retinal imaging. The associations with serum risks, genetic testing, and histories of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and stroke were examined.

The researchers identified 62 individuals with SDD and 64 with non-SDD, of whom 51 had CVD or stroke. There were significant correlations seen for SDD with lower mean serum high-density lipoprotein, CVD and stroke, and ARMS2 risk allele, but not CHF risk allele. There was a correlation observed for non-SDD with APOE2 risk allele. After adjustment for all other covariates, independent risks for SDD included CVD or stroke and ARMS2 homozygous risk.

"Research on the mechanisms of AMD could be guided by studying those risks that apply specifically to only one or the other pathway," the authors write. "These distinctions could enable focused attention on specific risks and single pathways, with correspondingly higher chances of success."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.

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