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Benedicte Merle, Marie-Noëlle Delyfer, Jean-François Korobelnik, Marie-Bénédicte Rougier, Florence Malet, Mélanie Le Goff, Evelyne Peuchant, Joseph Colin, Pascale Barberger-Gateau, Cécile Delcourt; Plasma omega3 fatty acids and the risk for age-related macular degeneration: the Alienor Study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):3813.
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High dietary intake of omega3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and fish have been consistently associated with a decreased risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). We report the associations of late AMD with plasma concentrations of omega3 PUFA, which represent a more objective assessment of omega3 PUFA status.
The Alienor study is a prospective population-based study on nutrition and age-related eye diseases, performed in 963 residents of Bordeaux (France), aged 73 years or more. Participants are re-examined every two years since baseline (2006-2008). Plasma fatty acids were measured by gas chromatography, from fasting blood samples collected in 1999-2001. Late AMD (geographic atrophy and/or neovascular AMD) was graded from non mydriatic colour retinal photographs taken in 2006-2008 (baseline), and 2009-2011 (first follow-up). Associations of late AMD with plasma omega3 PUFA were estimated using Generalized Estimating Equation logistic regressions, after adjustment for potential confounders (age, gender, smoking, education, physical activity, plasma HDL-cholesterol, plasma triglycerides, fruits consumption, CFH Y402H, apoE4 and ARMS2 A69S polymorphisms and follow-up time). Of 963 subjects, 84 (8.7%) had no gradable photographs, 167 (17.3%) had missing data for plasma fatty acids and 107 (11.1%) for confounders, leaving 605 subjects (1170 gradable eyes) for the statistical analysis, including 96 eyes with prevalent (58) and incident (38) late AMD.
After multivariate adjustment, higher plasma total omega3 PUFA was associated with reduced risk for prevalent late AMD with borderline significance (OR=0.69 for 1-standard deviation increase, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.46-1.04, p=0.08) and significantly with incident late AMD (OR=0.51, 95% CI: 0.28-0.92, p=0.02). When combining prevalent and incident cases, the association was highly significant (OR=0.62, 95% CI: 0.43-0.88, p=0.008). Associations were similar for plasma alpha-linolenic acid (for combined cases OR=0.62, 95% CI: 0.43-0.88, p=0.008) and long-chain omega3 PUFA (for combined cases OR=0.65, 95% CI: 0.46-0.92, p=0.01).
This study shows an inverse association of late AMD with plasma omega3 PUFA, consistent with previous observations concerning dietary intakes.
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