A study of 6,398 Covid-19-infected patients has shown that those with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) declined more rapidly, died at three times the rate of patients without AMD, and one in five required mechanical respiration.
Of those included in the retrospective study, 88 patients had a history of macular degeneration, four had complement deficiency disorders and 1,179 had coagulatory disorders.
Researchers noted that among the implications of their findings, the data warranted heightened public health awareness for the most vulnerable individuals and further investigation into the existing complement and coagulation targeting therapies, which have been recently shown to be beneficial in a small cohort of patients with Covid-19.
“This does not mean that AMD patients are more likely to become infected with coronavirus,” said Dr Sagi Shapira, who led the February-April 2020 study at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. “But these findings left no doubt that, once infected, those with macular degeneration are at greater risk of developing catastrophic disease symptoms.”