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Vitamin D Levels May Reduce Risk of Macular Degeneration

Last Updated: April 13, 2011.

Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations may be associated with a reduced likelihood of developing early age-related macular degeneration in women younger than 75 years, according to a study published in the April issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

WEDNESDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) concentrations may be associated with a reduced likelihood of developing early age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in women younger than 75 years, according to a study published in the April issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

Amy E. Millen, Ph.D., from the University at Buffalo in New York, and colleagues investigated the association between serum 25(OH)D concentrations and the prevalence of early AMD. Participants in the Carotenoids in Age-Related Eye Disease Study had their AMD status assessed using stereoscopic fundus photographs. Baseline serum 25(OH)D serum samples from 1,313 women with ocular and risk factor data were evaluated, and odds ratios were estimated for the 241 women who developed early AMD.

The researchers found that there was no significant association between early AMD and serum 25(OH)D in the fifth compared to the first quintile. There was a suggested selected mortality bias in women aged 75 years or older; serum 25(OH)D levels were correlated with lower likelihood of early AMD in women younger than 75, and increased likelihood in women aged 75 or older. After adjusting for body mass index and recreational activity, the correlation was attenuated. Vitamin D intake from foods or supplements was associated with lower likelihood of early AMD in women younger than 75.

"Vitamin D status may significantly affect a woman's odds of developing early AMD. More studies are needed to verify this association prospectively as well as to better understand the potential interaction between vitamin D status and genetic and lifestyle factors with respect to risk of early AMD," the authors write.

One of the study authors disclosed a financial relationship with a biotechnology company.

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