April 2009
Volume 50, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2009
Saturated Fatty Acids and Age Related Macular Degeneration
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • A. E. Fletcher
    Epidemiology & Population Health, London Sch of Hygiene & Trop Med, London, United Kingdom
  • I. S. Young
    Centre for Clinical and Population Sciences,
    Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, United Kingdom
  • U. Chakravarthy
    Department of Ophthalmogy,
    Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, United Kingdom
  • P. T. V. M. De Jong
    The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • M. Rahu
    Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, National Institute for Health Development, Tallinn, Estonia
  • J. Seland
    Øyeavdelingen, Haukeland Sykehus, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  • G. Soubrane
    Clinique Ophthalmologique, Universitaire De Creteil, Paris, France
  • L. Tomazzoli
    Clinica Oculistica, Università degli Studi di Verona, Verona, Italy
  • F. Topouzis
    Department of Ophthalmology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki School of Medicine, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • J. Vioque
    Dpto. Salud Publica, Universidad Miguel Hernandez, Alicante, Spain
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  A.E. Fletcher, None; I.S. Young, None; U. Chakravarthy, None; P.T.V.M. De Jong, None; M. Rahu, None; J. Seland, None; G. Soubrane, None; L. Tomazzoli, None; F. Topouzis, None; J. Vioque, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  European Commission Vth Framework (QLK6-CT-1999-02094), Macular Disease Society UK, Thomas Pocklington Trust UK
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2009, Vol.50, 1667. doi:
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      A. E. Fletcher, I. S. Young, U. Chakravarthy, P. T. V. M. De Jong, M. Rahu, J. Seland, G. Soubrane, L. Tomazzoli, F. Topouzis, J. Vioque; Saturated Fatty Acids and Age Related Macular Degeneration. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):1667.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose: : Previous studies based mainly on diet have found inconsistent results for saturated fatty acids with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). We investigated the association of saturated fatty acids measured in blood with early and late AMD.

Methods: : We carried out a nested case control analysis in the seven centre EUREYE study . Cases with late AMD (n=152, 106 with neovascular (NV) AMD, 46 with geographic atrophy (GA)) were matched with randomly selected controls (no signs of early or late AMD) by age, sex and centre. A similar method was used to select controls for early AMD (n=482, defined as large indistinct or reticular drusen or soft distinct drusen with pigmentary irregularities). Stored blood samples were analysed for total and individual saturated fatty acids by gas chromatography and expressed as percentage of all fatty acids. Logistic regression with robust standard errors was used to investigate the association of saturated fatty acids with early or late AMD taking account of potential confounders.

Results: : Saturated fatty acids constituted 45% of all fatty acids, made up of palmitic (68%), stearic (31%) and myristic ( <1%) with weak correlations between the three types. In analyses adjusted for age, sex, smoking, education, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, there were a significant association with the highest quartile of saturated fatty acids and late AMD, OR= 5.1, 95% confidence interval, CI, 2.4-10.9. These associations were found both for GA and NV AMD.The strongest associations observed were for stearic acid , OR= 4.0, 95% CI 1.8-9.1, compared to palmitic acid, OR=2.8, 1.2-6.2. There was no association with myristic acid, OR=1.2, 0.7-2.3. Similar results were observed for early AMD and in these analyses myristic acid was also significantly positively associated with early AMD.

Conclusions: : We have described adverse associations of saturated fatty acids with AMD. These findings should be examined in other studies.

Keywords: age-related macular degeneration • nutritional factors • clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: risk factor assessment 

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