More than half of all age-related macular degeneration cases go undiagnosed

In the nine major pharmaceutical markets (9MM*), less than half of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) cases were diagnosed in 2019 in adults aged 50 years and older, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

The company’s latest report, ‘Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Epidemiology Forecast to 2028’, revealed that Japan and China experienced the most undiagnosed cases last year due to the large number of AMD cases in these markets.


Primary eye care providers are often the first line of defense in detecting eye disease. However, a 2017 study published in JAMA Ophthalmology by Neely and colleagues revealed that a large number of AMD cases go undetected and undiagnosed in the primary eye care setting. The study examined elderly patients without diagnosed eye conditions, and found that 320 of 1,288 participants had AMD.

Natasha Karim, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist at GlobalData, comments: “The results of this study are concerning, indicating that under-diagnosis of AMD can easily occur in the primary care setting and is likely driving the gap between diagnosed and undiagnosed cases.

“Accurate and timely identification of AMD cases in the primary eye care setting is critical for improving patient outcomes. Future efforts should prioritize addressing gaps in physician awareness and providing better training opportunities on how to properly assess and diagnose AMD.”

*9MM: US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, Japan, Australia, and China

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