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Stephen Beatty, Ian J. Murray, David B. Henson, Dave Carden, Hui-Hiang Koh, Michael E. Boulton; Macular Pigment and Risk for Age-Related Macular Degeneration in Subjects from a Northern European Population. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2001;42(2):439-446.
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purpose. Age and advanced disease in the fellow eye are the two most important risk
factors for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In this study, the
authors investigated the relationship between these variables and the
optical density of macular pigment (MP) in a group of subjects from a
northern European population.
methods. The optical density of MP was measured psychophysically in 46
subjects ranging in age from 21 to 81 years with healthy maculae and in
9 healthy eyes known to be at high-risk of AMD because of advanced
disease in the fellow eye. Each eye in the latter group was matched
with a control eye on the basis of variables believed to be associated
with the optical density of MP (iris color, gender, smoking habits,
age, and lens density).
results. There was an age-related decline in the optical density of macular
pigment among volunteers with no ocular disease (right eye: r 2 = 0.29, P =
0.0006; left eye: r 2 = 0.29, P < 0.0001). Healthy eyes predisposed to AMD had
significantly less MP than healthy eyes at no such risk (Wilcoxon’s
signed rank test: P = 0.015).
conclusions. The two most important risk factors for AMD are associated with a
relative absence of MP. These findings are consistent with the
hypothesis that supplemental lutein and zeaxanthin may delay, avert, or
modify the course of this disease.
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