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W.G. Hodge, H.M. Schachter, D. Barnes, I. Pan, E. Lowcock, L. Zhang, M. Sampson, A. Morrison, K. Tran, M. Miguelez; The Efficacy of Omega–3 Fatty Acids in Preventing Age Related Macular Degeneration – A Systematic Review . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):2174.
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Omega–3 fatty acids are often recommended by non eye care professionals and in the lay press as a potential benefit for AMD. A Systematic Review was undertaken to determine the evidence for efficacy of dietary and/or supplemental omega–3 fatty acids in preventing age–related macular degeneration (AMD).
Five search engines and seven grey literature sources were searched finding 721 record for level I screening. A two level screening process followed by a adjucated data abstraction process was used. Newcastle–Ottawa quality scores were applied to all final data abstractions. Applicability indices and scores were developed outright.
No randomized clinical trials were found addressing this relationship. Two cohort studies, two case–control studies, and two single population–based cross–sectional studies were found to have addressed the efficacy of omega–3 fatty acids in preventing AMD. While the definitions of AMD were relatively constant across studies, the definition of omega–3 intake varied greatly. The protective effect of omega–3 fatty acids varied greatly across studies from protective (odds ratio 0.23, 95% CI 0.08 to 0.63) to neutral (odds ratio 0.96, 95% CI: 0.82 to 1.28) to potentially harmful (odds ratio 1.23 95% CI: 1.03–1.31).
Based on the present evidence, omega–3 fatty acids can not be recommended as a method of prevention AMD. Further prospective cohort studies and randomized clinical trials will need to be undertaken to clarify this issue.
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