Age-Related Macular Degeneration Patients
At Greater Risk for Depression

(San Francisco)—Nearly one-third of patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) experience clinical depression—twice the rate indicated in previous studies. These are the results from a study appearing in the October issue of Ophthalmology, the clinical journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology—the Eye M.D. Association.

Researchers from the Departments of Ophthalmology, Psychiatry, and Family and Preventive Medicine, at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, interviewed 151 adults, age 60 or older, with advanced AMD. The study participants were interviewed using measures of depression, disability and chronic medical conditions. Results showed that depression was the strongest predictor of disability, followed by visual acuity. AMD is the leading cause of vision loss worldwide, affecting one in five people over the age of 65.

Stuart I. Brown
Stuart I. Brown, M.D.

“Ophthalmologists and primary care doctors should be sensitive and alert for depression in their patients with macular degeneration,” said Stuart I. Brown, MD, co-author of the study, chairman of UCSD’s Department of Ophthalmology and director of UCSD’s Shiley Eye Center.

The National Institutes for Health partially funded the study.

The Academy is the world’s largest organization of eye physicians and surgeons—Eye M.D.s. For more information on AMD or other health-related topics, visit the Academy’s partner website at www.medem.com.

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Contact: Michelle Stephens or Arthur Stone at 415-561-8500, or by E-mail, media@aao.org

Or, at UCSD: Leslie Franz, 619-543-6163, or by e-mail lfranz@ucsd.edu

UCSD Health Sciences Communications HealthBeat: http://health.ucsd.edu/news/