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Study finds Ethnic Differences in Patient-Reported AMD Symptoms

A newly published study in JAMA Ophthalmology has found differences in visual acuity between different ethnic populations living with AMD in Singapore, findings which could impact public policy decisions in combatting the disease.

The study, lead by Professor Ecosse L. Lamoureux of the Singapore Eye Research Institute, used patient-reported Visual Function Index (VFI-11) surveys (a questionnaire that grades the patient’s ability to perform everyday visual tasks such as reading a newspaper or filling out a form) and fundus images of 9962 adults living in Singapore divided into three ethnic groups: Chinese, Malay and Indian. 5.9 % (560) of the study population had early AMD, while 0.6 % (60) had late AMD.

Early AMD had a significant negative effect on vision specific functioning (VSF) in Chinese patients, but not with Indian and Malay patients. Chinese patients with late AMD had a 19.1% reduction in VSF, compared with 13.5% reduction among Malay patients and was not associated with a reduction in VSF among Indian patients.

According to the study authors, “Culturally sensitive interventions to improve VSF for Chinese and Malay people with AMD may be warranted. More research is needed to untangle the factors influencing the observed ethnic differences and inform communication strategies to help understand the impact of disease in different populations. Screening for early detection and management of AMD is needed to curb the progression of the disease and minimize its effect on VSF.”

Full article: http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaophthalmology/article-abstract/2613355

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