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E. D. O'Connell, S. Beatty, J. Stack, J. Nolan, Macular Pigment Research Group; Dietary Antioxidants and Risk Factors for Age-Related Maculopathy. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):1151. doi: https://doi.org/.
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There is a growing body of evidence that oxidative stress is aetiologically important in the pathogenesis of age-related maculopathy (ARM), and that appropriate antioxidants of dietary origin may protect against this condition. Risk factors for ARM may be classed as established or putative, and we report a study designed to investigate whether such risk factors are associated with a dietary lack of antioxidants important for retinal health.
Dietary, anthropometric and demographic details relating to 828 healthy Irish subjects, aged 20 to 60 years, were recorded in a cross-sectional fashion, and analysed for associations between risk factors for ARM and dietary intake of nutrients relevant to ocular health.
Of the established risk factors for ARM, increasing age was associated with a relative lack of dietary zeaxanthin (Z) (P<0.05) and tobacco use with a relative lack of dietary vitamin C (P<0.05). Of the putative risk factors for ARM, alcohol consumption was associated with a relative lack of dietary α-linoleic acid (ALA) (P<0.05), female gender with a relative lack of dietary zinc (P<0.05), hypercholesterolaemia (self-reported) with a relative lack of dietary vitamin A (P<0.01) and of dietary zinc (P<0.05) and blue irides with a relative lack of dietary lutein (L) (P<0.05).
We have demonstrated that several variables related to risk for ARM are associated with a relative dietary lack of key nutrients. Our finding that age, the most important and universal risk factor for ARM, is associated with a relative lack of dietary Z, is an important finding which warrants further investigation.
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