Background/aims: Quantitative data regarding the impact of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (NV-AMD) on individuals and society is a prerequisite for rational decision-making processes when evaluating alternative treatments for the disease.
Methods: 75 bilateral NV-AMD (patients) and 91 elderly non-AMD (controls) subjects forming the UK cohort of an international cross-sectional, observational study were independently analysed. Subjects completed a telephone survey including the National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI-VFQ-25), the EuroQol (EQ-5D), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), history of falls and health resource utilisation.
Results: Patients with NV-AMD reported substantially worse vision-related functioning and overall well-being, including higher depression scores, than controls after adjusting for age, gender and co-morbidities (adjusted mean scores: NEI-VFQ-25 overall 52.7 vs 90.7, p<0.0001; EQ-5D 0.67 vs 0.77, p = 0.0273; HADS depression 6.8 vs 4.0, p = 0.0026). Significantly more patients reported a need for assistance with daily activities compared with controls (25.3% vs 6.6%, p = 0.003). Total annual healthcare utilisation costs were more than sevenfold higher for patients with AMD compared with controls ( pound 3,823.89 vs pound 517.05, respectively; p<0.0001)
Conclusions: Patients with NV-AMD show a significant decline in quality of life and increased need for daily living assistance compared to a control population without AMD. With the availability of effective new therapies there is a need for improved early access to treatment.