Burden of illness, visual impairment and health resource utilisation of patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration: results from the UK cohort of a five-country cross-sectional study

Br J Ophthalmol. 2007 Oct;91(10):1303-7. doi: 10.1136/bjo.2007.116939. Epub 2007 May 15.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration / complications
  • Macular Degeneration / economics
  • Macular Degeneration / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Quality of Life
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Vision Disorders / economics
  • Vision Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Vision Disorders / etiology
  • Visual Acuity / physiology