One in nine people with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are skipping appointments for sight-saving eye injections, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, held from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3 in Chicago.
Rahul N. Khurana, M.D., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues data used from the IRIS Registry to identify 162,825 patients newly diagnosed with wet AMD between 2013 and 2015.
The researchers found that 11.0 percent of patients were lost to follow-up, while 89.0 percent of patients had a follow-up within 12 months. Odds of being lost to follow-up were greater among patients older than 90 years of age (odds ratio [OR], 2.95) versus patients 70 years and younger. Compared with White patients, the odds of being lost to follow-up were greater among African American patients (OR, 1.28) and Hispanic patients (OR, 1.20). Compared with patients with private insurance, the odds of being lost to follow-up were higher for patients with Medicaid insurance (OR, 1.42) and lower for patients with Medicare insurance (OR, 0.73).
“Considering the potential for blindness, the eye care community needs to be more proactive about reminding, educating and empowering AMD patients to come in,” Khurana said in a statement. “This could mean investing in [a] personalized telephone reminder system or having dedicated staff to educate patients regarding the diagnosis and emphasize the importance of following up for treatment. My hope is that this research empowers patients to preserve their vision by continuing with therapy and for physicians to consider the novel ways to improve adherence for patients with AMD in the future.”
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