[Access to healthcare services for elderly patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration]

Ophthalmologe. 2012 May;109(5):474-8. doi: 10.1007/s00347-012-2554-7.
[Article in German]


Background: Neovascular (nv) age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in Germany and is usually treated with monthly injections of anti-VEGF agents. The current level and the estimated need of service provision for nv-AMD were assessed.

Methods: Current levels of service provision with ranibizumab (Lucentis) were documented in 3,633 patients in the WAVE study, the currently largest observational study in Germany on the use of anti-VEGF agents. The expected need was calculated using German population figures for 2010 and available prevalence data. Both were stratified by age and gender and descriptively analyzed.

Results: A larger number of younger patients with nv-AMD (< 75 years) than expected were treated in the WAVE study. Expected need in the age groups 75-84 years and 84 years and older was much higher than the proportion of patients actually treated in these age groups (up to 3 times). Based on expected need, women accessed treatment less often than men.

Conclusion: In the WAVE study, less elderly persons and in particular elderly women seemed to access treatment for nv-AMD than expected. Future studies should investigate barriers in accessing treatment for nv-AMD and how to address these problems.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use*
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / drug therapy*
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / epidemiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration / drug therapy*
  • Macular Degeneration / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Ranibizumab


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Ranibizumab