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J.M. Nolan, O. O' Donovan, H. Kavanagh, K. Neelam, S. Beatty; In vivo Assessment of Retinal Antioxidant Status and the Risk for Age Related Macular Degeneration . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2005;46(13):1754.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose: Macular pigment (MP) is composed of the two hydroxycarotenoids, lutein (L) and zeaxanthin (Z), and is entirely of dietary origin. There is a growing body of observational evidence in support of the hypothesis that macular pigment (MP) protects against age–related maculopathy (ARM). This study was undertaken to investigate the relationship between MP optical density, serum L and Z, and dietary intake of L and Z in healthy subjects, and to relate these measures to putative risk for ARM. Methods: Four hundred healthy subjects aged between 20 and 60 years volunteered to participate in this study. MP optical density was measured psychophysically using heterochromatic flicker photometry (HFP), serum L and Z were quantified using HPLC, and dietary intake of L and Z was assessed using a validated Food Frequency Questionnaire. Clinical and personal details were also recorded, with particular attention directed towards putative risk factors for ARM. Results: Subjects with a confirmed family history of ARM had significantly lower MP optical density than subjects with no known family history of the disease [0.307 vs. 0.244; p < 0.05], and smokers also had a relative lack of MP [0.241 versus 0.308; p = 0.056]. Females had significantly lower MP than males [0.269 vs. 0.346; p < 0.01], and age was inversely related to MP optical density [r = – 0.256; p < 0.01]. Conclusions: In the absence of retinal pathology, the relative lack of MP among smokers, females, and subjects with a confirmed family history of ARM supports the hypothesis that the macular carotenoids may be protective for ARM.
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