Study: Hepatitis B Virus Increases Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Those with hepatitis B virus have a significantly elevated risk for developing any type of age-related macular degeneration, according to a new report

Those with hepatitis B virus have a significantly elevated risk for developing any type of age-related macular degeneration (AMD),

according to a new report. It’s possible that hepatitis B virus

may even accelerate the progression of AMD.

Investigators from Taipei Medical University conducted a retrospective study in order to examine the association between chronic hepatitis B virus and AMD. The team used frequency-matched patients from the Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2000 to find 1 million patients in the Taiwan National Health Insurance program.

The study authors wrote that especially in Taiwan, AMD has become a crucial concern in relation to the health and quality of life in older adults who make up an increasing proportion of the population. Varying degrees of visual impairment exist among advanced AMD cases, they added.

The team discovered 17,796 patients with diagnosed hepatitis B virus between 2000 and 2012. They matched and compared those patients with 71,184 non-hepatitis B virus patients on the basis of age, sex, and year of index date. Each of the participants were followed through the end of 2013, and those who developed AMD were identified throughout the period.

The study authors evaluated the progression of AMD by sorting the patients in the exudative AMD group into 3 subgroups: exudative only; exudative first followed by nonexudative; and nonexudative first followed by exudative. They could not classify between early and advanced AMD or determine the laterality of the diagnoses in the data.

Compared with patients in the matched control group, hepatitis B virus patients were less likely to be retired and more likely to be employed in either white- or blue-collar occupations, have a high monthly income, and live in central Taiwan.

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