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Ningpu Liu, Haiying Zhou, Xianfeng Zhao, Elizabeth J. Johnson, Apiradee Lim, Erdan Sun, Jie Yu, Xipu Liu, Torkel Snellingen, Fu Shang; Serum Carotenoids And Risk Of Age-related Macular Degeneration In A Chinese Population Sample. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):2336.
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It has been hypothesized that the macular carotenoids may protect against age-related macular degeneration (AMD). We evaluated the association between serum concentrations of carotenoids and the presence of AMD in a case-control sample of elderly Chinese subjects.
Two hundred sixty-seven individuals aged between 50 and 88 years enrolled in the study, including 82 cases with exudative AMD, 92 cases with early AMD, and 93 control individuals. Serum carotenoids, including lutein, zeaxanthin, lycopene, α- and β-carotenes, and β-cryptoxanthin, and retinol, were measured using a method of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).
Serum levels of all carotenoids measured and retinol were significantly lower in cases with exudative AMD than in controls. Median levels of lutein and zeaxanthin were 0.538 and 0.102 µmol/L, respectively, in control subjects, and 0.488 and 0.076µmol/L, respectively, in cases with exudative AMD. After adjustment for age, gender, smoking status and body mass index (BMI), significant inverse association was observed for exudative AMD with serum zeaxanthin (RRR=0.04, 95%CI: 0-0.33), lycopene (RRR=0.22, 95% CI: 0.1-0.49), and α-carotene (RRR=0.24, 95% CI: 0.12-0.5). Early AMD was inversely associated only with lycopene (RRR=0.51, 95% CI: 0.29-0.89) but positively associated with α-carotene (RRR=2.20, 95% CI: 1.37-3.55). No significant association between serum lutein and cases with early or exudative AMD was observed.
Our data suggest that higher levels of serum carotenoids, in particular zeaxanthin and lycopene, may be associated with lower likelihood of having exudative AMD. Serum levels of carotenoids were relatively higher in this Chinese cohort as compared to previous reports of other ethnicities.
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