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Signs of Early AMD Less Common Among Asians

But rates of late age-related macular degeneration appear to be similar in whites, Asians

THURSDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- The age-specific prevalence of late age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is comparable between Asians and whites, but estimates of early AMD rates are lower in Asians than whites, according to research published in the May issue of Ophthalmology.

Ryo Kawasaki, M.D., of the University of Melbourne in Australia, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of nine studies reporting AMD prevalence from four Asian populations (Japanese, Malays, Indians and Chinese). Age-specific prevalence of AMD was calculated and compared to prevalence of AMD in a white population.

The researchers found that, among individuals aged 40 to 79, the prevalence of early and late AMD was 6.8 and 0.56 percent, respectively, among Asians, and 8.8 and 0.59 percent, respectively, among whites. However, on meta-regression analysis, they found that pooled prevalence estimates for early and late AMD in those aged 40 to 79 were not significantly different between Asians and whites. For early AMD, among persons aged 60 to 79 years, prevalence was significantly lower for Asians than for whites, but the difference was not significant for those younger than 60, or 80 and older.

"Additional epidemiologic and clinical studies in Asian populations are warranted to assess if there are racial/ethnicity differences in late AMD lesion subtypes. These new studies should assume a high priority," the authors write.

One author reported financial relationships with Allergen, Pfizer and Novartis.

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