Rates of macular degeneration dropping among seniors, report says

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Over the last 15 years, rates of age-related macular degeneration have fallen. This could indicate people are taking steps to improve their health, according to a new study.

Rates fell from 9.4% in the study period of 1988 to 1994 to 6.5% between 2005 and 2008, HealthDay News reported. Rates of age-related AMD in blacks over the age of 60 are lower than whites in the same age group, according to a study published in the January issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology. Researchers say the findings have public health implications—suggesting that more people are taking the idea of healthy lifestyles to heart.

The study's authors write that it remains to be seen whether public health programs designed to increase awareness of AMD risks will continue to pay off. They hope that further collaboration between patients and providers will contribute to the decline of AMD in this population.