Age-Related Macular Degeneration Cases in UK to Increase One-Third by 2020

The number of persons in the United Kingdom living with age-related macular degeneration will increase by one-third in less than a decade, according to a new study cited in the Daily Mail recently.

The study, published on the British Journal of Ophthalmology website, tallied age-related macular degeneration prevalence rates for persons aged 50 and above, according to the newspaper. The newspaper added that the researchers behind the study relied on stats covering the 2007-2009 period to determine, one, the prevalence of age-related macular degeneration and, two, how many persons would have the ailment by 2020.

While researchers said that 2.4% of UK persons — 513,000  in total — had age-related macular degeneration, they added that this number will climb one-third to 679,000 in 2020 in the UK, noted the newspaper report. Researchers, who were from Moorfields Eye Hospital, the University of London, Tropical Medicine and the London School of Hygiene, added not only that cases were more common among those older than 65, but also that women were more likely than men to be diagnosed with the illness. In fact, the researchers explained that, by 2020, 394,000 women will have the illness and 285,000 men will have the illness.

According to the newspaper report, Dr. Christopher Owen, a senior lecturer at St. George’s, University of London and the lead researcher behind the study, said that the amount out people who will be get age-related macular degeneration annually is more than was previously believed to be the case.

He added in the newspaper report that the study’s findings can be used to address current and future health care and social needs. According to Dr. Owen, the sorts of treatments available to help those with wet age-related macular degeneration are simply not available for those with the dry version of the ailment.

Macular Disease Society CEO Helen Jackman, whose organization funded the study, said in the news paper report that the findings show that government and the National Health Service need to take age-related macular degeneration more seriously.

According to the newspaper report, symptoms of age-related macular degeneration include, but are not limited to, distorted vision, trouble reading and difficulty watching television. While practices such as smoking can ultimately cause age-related macular degeneration, it is a disease that is generally associated with growing older, according to the newspaper report.


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