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Cécile Delcourt, Isabelle Carrière, Martine Delage, Pascale Barberger-Gateau, Wolfgang Schalch, the POLA Study Group; Plasma Lutein and Zeaxanthin and Other Carotenoids as Modifiable Risk Factors for Age-Related Maculopathy and Cataract: The POLA Study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(6):2329-2335. doi: 10.1167/iovs.05-1235.
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purpose. To assess the associations of plasma lutein and zeaxanthin and other carotenoids with the risk of age-related maculopathy (ARM) and cataract in the population-based Pathologies Oculaires Liées à l’Age (POLA) Study.
methods. Retinal photographs were graded according to the international classification. ARM was defined by the presence of late ARM (neovascular ARM, geographic atrophy) and/or soft indistinct drusen (>125 μm) and/or soft distinct drusen (>125 μm) associated with pigmentary abnormalities. Cataract classification was based on a direct standardized lens examination at the slit lamp, according to Lens Opacities Classification System III. Plasma carotenoids were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), in 899 subjects of the cohort.
results. After multivariate adjustment, the highest quintile of plasma zeaxanthin was significantly associated with reduced risk of ARM (OR = 0.07; 95% CI: 0.01–0.58; P for trend = 0.005), nuclear cataract (OR = 0.23; 95% CI: 0.08–0.68; P for trend = 0.003) and any cataract (OR = 0.53; 95% CI: 0.31–0.89; P for trend = 0.01). ARM was significantly associated with combined plasma lutein and zeaxanthin (OR = 0.21; 95% CI: 0.05–0.79; P for trend = 0.01), and tended to be associated with plasma lutein (OR = 0.31; 95% CI: 0.09–1.07; P for trend = 0.04), whereas cataract showed no such associations. Among other carotenoids, only β-carotene showed a significant negative association with nuclear cataract, but not ARM.
conclusions. These results are strongly suggestive of a protective role of the xanthophylls, in particular zeaxanthin, for the protection against ARM and cataract.
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