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Macular Degeneration

Volume 460: debated on Wednesday 9 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people are being treated for macular degeneration in (a) the United Kingdom, (b) England, (c) Greater London, (d) the London Borough of Havering and (e) Romford. (135030)

The majority of patients receiving treatment for macular degeneration are likely to be treated as out-patients. We do not hold data showing the number of out-patient attendances for this condition.

The table shows the number of national health service in-patient admissions during 2005-06 for those whose primary diagnosis was degeneration of the macular and posterior pole.

We do not hold data covering the whole of the United Kingdom, nor do we hold data for Romford, which is covered by Havering Primary Care Trust.

Total patients



Greater London


Havering (Primary Care Trust)



Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), The Information Centre for Health and Social Care.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what her Department’s policy is on combating age-related macular degeneration. (135031)

The main risk factors for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) include smoking and poor diet. The White Paper “Choosing Health” sets out the wide range of action being taken to reduce smoking and improve diet and nutrition.

In September 2003, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommended the use of Visudyne in photodynamic therapy for the treatment of wet AMD in some patients. All primary care trusts are funding this treatment in accordance with NICE’S guidance.

NICE began a review of Macugen and Lucentis as a treatment for wet AMD on 1 August 2006. NICE will issue a draft document for public consultation following its first appraisal committee meeting on 18 April.