Eye examinations are important in patients with CKD

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A pooled analysis of more than 51,000 individuals indicated that chronic kidney disease (CKD) and compromised kidney function are significantly associated with late age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The cross-sectional Asian Eye Epidemiology Consortium is a network of population-based Asian studies. This assessment included 51,253 patients (mean age, 54.1 years) from 10 studies. The following classification systems were used to define AMD:

  • Wisconsin Age-Related Maculopathy Grading System
  • International Age-Related Maculopathy Epidemiological Study Group Classification
  • Beckman Clinical Classification

CKD, defined as an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) of <60 mL/min/1.73 m2, was detected in 9.9% of patients in the cohort (n=5,079).

Early AMD was detected in 9.0% of patients, and late AMD was found in 0.71%. The researchers adjusted for:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Body mass index
  • Smoking status
  • Cholesterol
  • Study groups

Individuals with CKD had greater odds of late AMD (odds ratio [OR], 1.46; 95% CI, 1.11-1.98; P=.008); poor kidney function was also associated with late AMD (OR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.05-1.19; P=.001).

However, CKD and eGFR were not significantly associated with early AMD (P≥.149).

The researchers indicated that the connection between CKD and AMD may be due to shared influencing factors like susceptibility genes such as complement factor H and apolipoprotein E.

The study is limited by its inclusion of only Asian individuals, and the study’s findings should be confirmed in other ethnic populations, the authors noted.

“This finding further underscores the importance of ocular examinations in patients with CKD,” the authors concluded.


Xue CC, Sim R, Chee ML, et al. Is kidney function associated with age-related macular degeneration? Findings from the Asian Eye Epidemiology Consortium. Ophthalmology. 2024;131(6):692-699. doi:10.1016/j.ophtha.2023.12.030