Patients with wet AMD can achieve good lifetime vision outcomes with anti-VEGF treatment, particularly when they have more injections and an earlier start, a new study in JAMA Ophthalmology suggests.

With an international model that used real-world data, researchers reported an estimated 12% of patients retained driving visual acuity (VA) and 15% retained reading VA in at least one eye over their remaining lifetime of 11 years.

The study included 3,192 patients with wet AMD—representing more than 67,000 visits—treated in routine eye clinics in Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland. Researchers analyzed data from 2007 to 2015 and considered VA in both eyes over the patients’ remaining lifetime. Younger age at baseline and more injections during the first year of treatment were associated with better long-term outcomes.

The findings are remarkable compared with outcomes without intervention, which can lead to legal blindness within three years of disease onset in 80% of those affected, the researchers noted.

“These findings underline the public health necessity of providing anti-VEGF treatment to persons in need,” the researchers wrote in their paper.

However, during the average remaining lifespan noted in the study, an estimated 82% of the sample, or 2,629 patients, dropped out, which researchers attributed to a likely deterioration of vision.

Finger RP, Puth MT, Schmid M, et al. Lifetime outcomes of anti–vascular endothelial growth factor treatment for neovascular age-related macular degeneration. JAMA Ophthalmol. October 15, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].