Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
There are two forms of age-related macular degeneration (AMD): dry AMD and wet AMD. Dry AMD is characterized by the development of yellow-white deposits under the retina, known as drusen, along with deterioration of the retinal tissue. Wet AMD is generally caused by the infiltration of abnormal new blood vessels into the retina.
In patients with wet AMD, abnormal new blood vessels tend to be fragile and often bleed and leak fluid into the macula, the central-most portion of the retina. This can result in the distortion of detailed central vision necessary for daily activities such as reading, face recognition, watching television and driving, and can lead to loss of central vision and blindness. While wet AMD represents approximately 10% of all cases of AMD, it is responsible for 90% of the severe vision loss associated with the disease and is the leading cause of blindness in patients over the age of 55 in the US and EU.
Burden of AMD
AMD is a major public health problem that has a devastating effect on patients and a significant adverse impact on the economy. Patients with wet AMD suffer a reduced quality of life and experience difficulty performing daily activities, social isolation, higher than normal rates of clinical depression, twice the risk of premature death as those who are not visually impaired, increased risk of falls and related hip fractures, and premature admission to nursing homes.
With the number of people in the U.S. aged 55 or older expected to increase significantly over the next 20 years, Ophthotech anticipates a similar and significant increase in the number of cases of both dry and wet AMD in the US.
AMD Facts & Figures
1.25 million people suffer from wet AMD in the United States 1
200,000 new cases of wet AMD are diagnosed each year in the United States 2
$255 billion estimated annual cost of visual impairment due to AMD to health care systems worldwide 2
10 million people suffer from wet or dry AMD in the United States 2
40% decrease in quality of life for an average patient with moderate AMD, similar to patients with heart disease or on kidney dialysis 2
36% increase in the number of people aged 55 or older in the United States over the next two decades 3
1. According to a 2006 peer reviewed study 2. According to a 2010 AMD Alliance International Study 3. According to U.S. Census Bureau data