USyd
Retina
2020 September

Smoking status and treatment outcomes of vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors for neovascular age-related macular degeneration

Alexander F Vittorio, Vuong Nguyen, Daniel Barthelmes, Jennifer J Arnold, Chui M G Cheung, Neil Murray, Mark C Gillies, Fight Retinal Blindness! Study Group

Abstract

Purpose: To assess whether smoking status affects 1-year visual outcomes in eyes treated with vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors for neovascular age-related macular degeneration.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of data from a prospectively designed, multicenter, observational database. Nine hundred and eighty seven treatment-naive eyes of patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration were tracked by the Fight Retinal Blindness! outcome registry in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Switzerland who had documented smoking status at baseline and commenced vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitor therapy from January 2006 to December 2016. Generalized additive models were used to display visual acuity results.

Results: There was a significant difference in mean improvement in visual acuity at 12 months between nonsmokers, ex-smokers, and current smokers (7.7 vs. 6.1 vs. 3.5 letters of change; P = 0.046) among patients who completed 12 months of treatment when adjusted for age, baseline visual acuity, and choroidal neovascular membrane lesion type and nested for practice. There was no significant difference in the median number of injections over 12 months of treatment by smoking status. Current smokers were a mean of 6.2 years younger than nonsmokers when they started treatment (P < 0.001). Conclusion: This study found inferior 12-month visual outcomes in patients who continued to smoke while receiving vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitor therapy for neovascular age-related macular degeneration.