Impact of age-related macular degeneration on vision-specific quality of life: Follow-up from the 10-year and 15-year visits of the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures

Am J Ophthalmol. 2010 Nov;150(5):683-91. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2010.05.030. Epub 2010 Aug 5.


Purpose: To assess vision-specific quality of life (QOL), based on abbreviated surveys derived from the National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI-VFQ), in a cohort of United States women who participated in the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures.

Design: Prospective, observational cohort study.

Methods: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) status, based on a 3-level classification (no AMD, early AMD, late AMD), and vision-specific QOL, based on abbreviated NEI-VFQ surveys, were calculated for 1674 women enrolled in the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures at 4 centers within the United States who had gradable fundus photographs at both the 10-year and 15-year follow-up visits. The associations among 5-year changes in NEI-VFQ composite scores, change in AMD status, and distance visual acuity were examined.

Results: Compared with study participants without AMD at both visits, study participants with late AMD at both visits and those who progressed from early AMD to late AMD demonstrated the greatest declines in adjusted NEI-VFQ composite scores, up to a mean decrease of 16.2 from a scale of 100. Visual acuity declines also were most prominent for patients with late AMD at both visits and for those who progressed from early AMD to late AMD. Change in visual acuity was found to correlate significantly with change in vision-specific QOL.

Conclusions: The abbreviated NEI-VFQ surveys provide reliable assessments of vision-specific QOL in AMD patients. The decline in vision-specific QOL associated with the progression of AMD is clinically meaningful.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fractures, Spontaneous / physiopathology
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration / physiopathology*
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / physiopathology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sickness Impact Profile*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Visual Acuity / physiology*