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Marita Elveslett Jensen, Per O Lundmark, Rigmor Baraas; The effect of omega-3 status and age on macular thickness. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):2630.
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To investigate the relationship between HS-omega-3 status and age on macular thickness in healthy adults.
Forty-one males and females aged 43-50 yrs were included in the study. Participants were healthy with no known ocular abnormalities. The exclusion criteria included any history of systemic or ocular disease, IOP higher than 21 mmHg, visual acuity greater than 0.1 (logMar), spherical equivalent larger than ± 5 D. Retinal thickness scans of the macular region were taken with the Heidelberg Spectralis OCT. Only one eye was scanned. Macular thicknesses were extracted from the thickness maps in nine predefined early treatment diabetic retinopathy study (ETDRS) areas (central, intermediate and outer ring of diameter 1, 2 and 3 mm). Axial length (AL) and corneal curvature were measured using partial coherence laser interferometry (Zeiss IOL Master; Carl Zeiss AG, Oberkochen, Germany). This information was used to make the appropriate settings on the OCT. HS-Omega-3 fatty acid index was quantified by measuring the amount of EPA and DHA in whole blood (dried blood spot) with a test from OmegaQuant Health Diagnostic Laboratory Inc. (Sioux Falls, SD, USA). A drop of blood (finger prick) was collected on anti-oxidant treated filter. Results were analyzed and reported by the manufacturer. The effect of age was calculated within the group of 43-50 yr olds, as well as compared with data collected in a previous study on 37 healthy males and females aged 20-35 yrs.
Average central subfield (CSF) thickness was 284 ±19 μm in the 43-50 yr olds versus 273 ±20 in the younger group. CSF thickness was significantly greater in males relative to females in the older group (mean 297 ±14 μm vs. 278 ±18 μm, p < 0.002), but not in the younger group (275 ±24 μm vs. 272 ±20 μm). Axial length correlated with CSF thickness in the older male group only (Pearson r = -0.6, p < 0.05). There was no difference in retinal thickness within or between the two age groups. Average HS-Omega-3 index was 7.6±1.9 with no difference between males and females. There was no effect of omega-3 status on macular retinal thickness (Pearson r = -0.001).
Retinal thickness does not vary between the ages of 20 to 50. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to be important for retinal function, but omega-3 status do not seem to correlate with retinal thickness in this sample of healthy individuals.
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