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Ute E. K. Wolf-Schnurrbusch, Nicole Röösli, Eva Weyermann, Mirjam R. Heldner, Katja Höhne, Sebastian Wolf; Ethnic Differences in Macular Pigment Density and Distribution. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(8):3783-3787. doi: 10.1167/iovs.06-1218.
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purpose. Many epidemiologic studies suggest a number of risk factors that may be associated with progression of age-related maculopathy (ARM). In this study, the authors investigate ethnic differences in macular pigment density (MPD) and macular pigment (MP) distribution.
methods. Inclusion criteria were healthy subjects, aged 35 to 49 years, visual acuity ≥20/20, race ethnicity white non-Hispanic (WNH) or African. All subjects underwent the following examinations: best-corrected ETDRS visual acuity (VA), measurements of MPD, and spatial distribution of MP with a modified confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope according to a standard protocol. MPD maps were calculated from autofluorescence images recorded at 488 nm and 514 nm. Central macular pigment density (MPDc) was quantified from MPD maps within 0.5° around the center of the fovea.
results. In total, 118 healthy subjects (61 women, 57 men) aged 35 to 49 years (mean, 42.5 ± 3.6 years) were recruited for the study. Sixty-seven healthy subjects were WNH and 51 were African. Visual acuity ranged from 20/20 to 20/16 in the study eye. Significant differences were found among MPDc between the group of WNH (MPDc, 0.36 ± 0.13 density units [DU]; P < 0.0001) and African subjects (MPDc, 0.59 ± 0.14 DU). A parafoveal ring was significantly more frequent in African subjects than in WNH subjects (86% [African] vs. 68% [WNH]; P < 0.0001).
conclusions. This study demonstrates that ethnicity plays a role in MPD values and in MP distribution. The association of different distribution patterns and their relevance as possible prognostic factors for diseases leading to oxidative retinal damage requires further studies.
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