Last Updated: Feb 16, 2023

The number of people suffering from coronavirus in the United Kingdom is increasing at present. The latest data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) suggest that along with COVID-19 cases, flu cases as well are surging across the country. Health experts have claimed that the number of hospitalizations caused by flu and COVID-19 has reached its greatest levels since the winter of 2017-2018.

Although they have said that age seems to be the major risk factor for causing death from COVID-19, more studies are being conducted to identify other mortality trends. In the latest study, experts have found a link between age-macular degeneration and severe complication due to infection caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The findings of the recent study have shown that age-macular degeneration (AMD) might be a medical risk factor for elevated risk for COVID-19 infection and death caused by the virus. As per the data, around 1.5 million people in the United Kingdom are affected by Age-macular degeneration (AMD), which is an eye disorder. The latest study has been put together by scientists from the Boston University Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine. They have claimed that age-macular degeneration (AMD) is considered a greater risk for serious complications caused by COVID-19 infection.

In the study, researchers have added a 25 percent greater risk of respiratory failure and mortality, which is a higher risk as compared to obesity and type 2 diabetes. Health experts who have been involved in the study have said age-macular degeneration (AMD) might set the ground for complications caused by coronavirus infection.

The co-investigator of the study, Lindsay A. Ferrer, has said that the findings of the study support the body of evidence for the elevated risk of infection and death due to COVID-19 in AMD patients. She has said that research adds to the credibility of earlier reported clinical analyses, which revealed that people with age-macular degeneration (AMD) are at a greater risk of COVID-19 disease and severe complications caused by the infection.

Lindsay A. Ferrer has said that this elevated risk might be based on some genetic compositions. The goal of the latest study was to examine variants that are linked to age-macular degeneration (AMD), severe illness caused by COVID-19, the rate of COVID-19 infection, and hospitalization caused by the infection.

The authors of the study used an analytical tool that helped them to investigate the causal association between various gene variants in the bloodstream, COVID-19 effects, and age-macular degeneration (AMD). The findings of the study have been released in the Journal of Clinical Medicine. Experts have said that these findings have emerged from a study of large sets of data that are accessible to tens of thousands of people.

The findings of the study show that reducing PDGFB gene activity and serum PDGF concentration might decrease the seriousness of COVID-19 infection among elderly patients. Another co-author of the study Manju L. Subramanian has noted that therapeutic approaches merging anti-VEGF remedy that is an existing treatment for age-macular degeneration (AMD) with antagonists that attach to receptors for blocking PDGF indication are considered more efficient as compared to the single VEGF therapy.

VEGF therapy is being investigated for its efficacy in clinical trials. Anti-VEGF remedy restricts the growth of blood vessels in the eye that can damage vision.  Experts say that the finding of shared genetic risk elements will need a big sample size for severe illness and hospitalizations for a better understanding of the risk factors that lead to o worse medical effects in both diseases. As per the data from NICE, nearly 39,8000 people are diagnosed with neovascular AMD in the United Kingdom every year.

Health officials claim that it accounts for 663 new cases of AMD per million each year. COVID-19 Patients dealing with this eye disorder have impaired central vision and it can lead to serious loss of central vision and can cause blindness as well. Smoking, consuming a diet rich in saturated fats, having high blood pressure, and being older than 50 years are some risk factors for age-macular degeneration (AMD).