To compare the longitudinal incidence over 10 years of dry and wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in a U.S. sample of Medicare beneficiaries with no diabetes mellitus, diabetes mellitus without retinopathy, nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR), and proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR).
Using Medicare claims data, the 10-year incidence of dry and wet AMD from 1995 to 2005 in beneficiaries older than 69 years with newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus (n = 6,621), NPDR (n = 1,307), and PDR (n = 327) compared with each other and matched controls without diabetes for each group.
After controlling for covariates, newly diagnosed NPDR was associated with significantly increased risk of incident diagnosis of dry AMD (hazard ratio, 1.24; 95% confidence interval: 1.08–1.43) and wet AMD (hazard ratio 1.68; 95% confidence interval: 1.23–2.31). Newly diagnosed PDR was associated with significantly increased risk of wet AMD only (hazard ratio 2.15; 95% confidence interval: 1.07–4.33). Diabetes without retinopathy did not affect risk of dry or wet AMD. There was no difference in risk of wet AMD in PDR compared with NPDR.
Elderly individuals with NPDR or PDR may be at higher risk of AMD compared to those without diabetes mellitus or diabetic retinopathy.