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O. M. O'Donovan, III, E. Loane, J. Stack, S. Beatty; The Relationship Between Macular Pigment Optical Density and Serum Levels of Lipoproteins and Serum Lipids. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):2124.
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Macular pigment is made up of two dietary carotenoids, known as lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin are entirely dietary of origin, and are largely transported on the high density lipoprotein (HDL) fraction of lipoprotein profile. Macular pigment is believed to protect against age related maculopathy, and impact on psychophysical visual function.
Macular pigment optical density was measured in 98 subjects using heterochromatic flicker photometry. Serum lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides) and lipoproteins (HDL and LDL) were also assessed in the same subjects using the Randox SPACE Clinical analyser.
Within the sample of 98 subjects, 64 subjects were female and 34 male. The mean age (± st. deviation) was 46.5 ± 10.9 yrs and mean Macular Pigment Optical Density (MPOD) was 0.37 ± 0.18. The Pearson correlation between HDL and MPOD was 0.177 (p = 0.082). Correlations between MPOD and LDL, triglyceride and cholesterol were all close to zero (p = 0.663, 0.340, 0.852 resp.).Using multiple linear regression of MPOD on HDL, LDL, triglyceride and cholesterol the only significant predictor was HDL (p = 0.042), and this relationship was positive. However, the R Square value for this model was only 0.057.
There is some slight evidence of a positive relationship between HDL and MPOD. None of the other variables, LDL, triglyceride and cholesterol, showed any significant relationship with MPOD. Given that risk factors for cardiovascular disease also represent an antecedent to age related maculopathy, these findings warrant further investigation.
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