Cell count predicts AMD

Elevated white blood cell (WBC) count can predict the risk of developing early age-related macular degeneration (AMD), Australian findings suggest.

For the research, 3,654 people aged 49–97 had WBC count measured at baseline and rates of early and late AMD were recorded over 10 years of follow-up.

Overall, 36 cases of AMD were recorded and 2,217 people were considered at risk.

This showed that people with a WBC count greater than 6.7 x 109 cells/litre were 85 per cent more likely to develop early AMD than people with a WBC count of 5.5 x 109 cells/litre or less.

This association was present in analyses of early AMD lesions. But no link between WBC count and late AMD was noted.

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