In an effort to understand the eye care needs of different ethnic groups, the National Eye Institute has funded studies by the University of Southern California Roski Eye Institute.
Its researchers and clinicians recently "published results of the largest population-based study of adult Latinos and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in the National Eye Institute-funded 'Los Angeles Latino Eye Study (LALES).' The study, published in JAMA Ophthalmology, is the first to analyze the risk and prevalence of early and late stage AMD and its impact on quality of life for older Latinos," according to Science Daily. "The LALES study, conducted among 4,876 Latinos in Los Angeles with a mean age cohort of 54.8 years old, indicates that Latinos diagnosed with bilateral AMD with large drusen (the lipids or fatty proteins that are yellow deposits under the retina) and depigmentation as well as a more severe AMD had a substantially lower health-related quality of life as compared to those with AMD lesions in only one eye. In addition, the findings point to a more significant health-related quality of life decline beginning in early rather than later stages of the disease." Read more.
A month earlier the Roski Eye Institute released a similar study about Chinese Americans and its "findings, published in JAMA Ophthalmology,
point to critical interventions in the prevention and treatment of
blinding eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration and
diabetic retinopathy (DR), among Chinese Americans," reports Science Daily. "Key findings of the CHES study point to a higher percentage (85
percent) of neovascular or "wet" AMD than geographic atrophy or "dry"
AMD (15 percent). This is almost the opposite of what has been found in
whites or other ethnic groups who typically have the same percentage of
AMD types or higher prevalence of dry AMD. The study also found the
prevalence of AMD is higher among Chinese Americans as compared to the
Chinese population living in urban/rural China, suggesting the influence
of environmental or behavioral factors should be considered. According
to the National Eye Institute, part of the National Institutes of
Health, AMD is the leading cause of vision loss affecting more than 2
million Americans. Primarily affecting central vision, the two types of
AMD refers most often to those who receive a diagnosis after age 60." Read more.