|Asian Medicare beneficiaries across several age groups and comorbidities are experiencing accelerated AMD prevalence rates over time, including females between the ages of 40 and 64. Photo: NEI. Click image to enlarge.|
As the Asian-American population grows, the rate of ophthalmic diseases—such as late AMD— among this group naturally grows as a consequence. In this study, researchers characterized prevalence estimates by race, age, gender and comorbidity (diabetes, hypertension) within the Medicare beneficiary demographic.
The Vision and Eye Health Surveillance System was analyzed for a 100% sample of Medicare beneficiary populations of nearly 22 million Asians and non-Hispanic whites less than 40 years of age between 2014 and 2018. Prevalence rate ratios, defined as prevalence rate for Asians divided by prevalence rate for non-Hispanic whites, were calculated and then stratified by age, gender and comorbidity.
The study estimates that 9.9% (n=70,735) of Asians and 11.6% (n=2,454,989) of non-Hispanic whites were diagnosed with any subtype AMD in 2018.
“While our AMD estimates for non-Hispanic whites are comparable with 2019 estimates (12.3%), our regression analyses highlight a greater cross-sectional prevalence of all-inclusive AMD in multiple Asian sub-cohorts aged 40 to 64 years, including Asian females aged 40 to 64 years with a history of diabetes or hypertension relative to the same age, gender and comorbidity-matched cohort of non-Hispanic whites,” the authors explained in their paper for the journal Retina.
Time-wise increases in AMD prevalence among Asian beneficiaries were observed throughout all age-groups, genders and comorbidities. “Additionally, all participants at least 65 years of age unilaterally showcased prevalence rate ratios less than one at the start of our study time period in 2014, indicating lesser AMD disease within Asian Medicare beneficiaries,” the authors explained.
The only sub-cohort above 65 years that surpassed a prevalence rate ratio of one in real time was Asian females aged 65 to 84 years with diabetes. “Collectively, our findings suggest a nearly universal acceleration of covariate-adjusted diagnostic AMD rates within several sub cohorts of the Asian Medicare demographic,” the authors concluded in the study. “Moreover, certain Asian subpopulations have, in real time, exceeded the prevalence of AMD relative to matched non-Hispanic White counterparts.”
Hussain ZS, Wu G, Loya A, et al. Diagnostic patterns of age-related macular degeneration among Asian Medicare beneficiaries. Retina. August 15, 2023. [Epub ahead of print.]