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Corneal Graft Recipients at Risk of Infectious Disease

Second study reports on racial differences in age-related macular degeneration

MONDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who receive corneal grafts from donors dying in the hospital or with cancer may have an increased risk of post-surgical endophthalmitis, and white patients may have an increased risk of age-related macular degeneration compared to black patients, according to two studies published in the February issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

In one report, Sohela S. Hassan, of the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and colleagues conducted a case-control study of 162 patients who developed post-keratoplasty endophthalmitis and 324 matched controls. The researchers found that the risk was elevated in recipients who received tissue from donors who were recently hospitalized, donors with fatal cancer, and donated tissue that was more than five days old (odds ratios 2.84, 2.46 and 1.55, respectively).

In a separate report, Susan B. Bressler, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional population-based study of 2,520 participants (mean age 73.5), including 1,854 whites and 666 blacks. The researchers found that whites were more likely to have medium or large drusen than blacks, three times as likely as blacks to have focal hyperpigmentation, and significantly more likely to have neovascular age-related macular degeneration (1.7 percent versus 1.1. percent).

"These data suggest that black individuals may have a mechanism for protection in the central zone against these critical fundus features, which themselves convey high risk of progression to advanced age-related macular degeneration," Bressler and colleagues conclude.

Abstract - Hassan
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Abstract - Bressler
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