Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Early stages of age-related macular degeneration associated with smoking, cholesterol levels

Date:
June 14, 2010
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Early-stage age-related macular degeneration appears to be related to modifiable risk factors, including smoking and low levels of high-density lipoprotein, according to a new study. The condition appears uncommon before age 55 but the risk increases with age thereafter.

Early-stage age-related macular degeneration appears to be related to modifiable risk factors, including smoking and low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL or "good" cholesterol), according to a report in the June issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. The condition appears uncommon before age 55 but the risk increases with age thereafter.

Most studies assessing the prevalence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) have focused on middle- and older-age adults, according to background information in the article. "To our knowledge, accurate estimates of prevalence of AMD among adults younger than 40 years are lacking," the authors write. "Such information is important for understanding the relationships of risk factors to AMD across the age spectrum and for identifying factors that might affect this disease earlier in life."

Ronald Klein, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and colleagues assessed 2,810 individuals age 21 to 84 participating in the Beaver Dam Offspring Study. The presence and severity of drusen -- yellow or white deposits in the retina, an early sign of AMD -- was determined, along with that of other characteristics of AMD.

Early AMD was present in 3.4 percent of the participants, with rates varying from 2.4 percent in those age 21 to 34 to 9.8 percent in those age 65 years and older. Besides age, other factors associated with increased risk for AMD included being male, smoking more heavily for a longer period of time, and being hearing impaired, whereas having higher levels of HDL cholesterol was associated with reduced risk.

Factors not associated with early AMD included blood pressure, body mass index, physical activity level, history of heavy drinking, white blood cell count or total cholesterol level.

Drusen were present in the macula -- the area in the retina responsible for sharp vision -- in 63.3 percent of the participants, and the frequency of drusen increased with age. When age was considered, men and women had approximately the same number of drusen.

"In summary, the Beaver Dam Offspring Study data provide precise estimates of the prevalence of various signs of AMD (soft drusen, pigmentary abnormalities) over a wide spectrum of ages from the third to the ninth decade of life," the authors write. "They demonstrate that early AMD onset may occur in midlife. Some modifiable factors (smoking status and serum HDL cholesterol level) associated with AMD in older cohorts were associated with early AMD in this cohort of middle-aged adults."

"The higher frequency of AMD in people aged 65 or older in an aging population makes this an important public health problem," they conclude. "Further information regarding the natural history of AMD and its risk factors, especially early in life, is important for developing preventive approaches to it."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ronald Klein; Karen J. Cruickshanks; Scott D. Nash; Elizabeth M. Krantz; F. Javier Nieto; Guan H. Huang; James S. Pankow; Barbara E. K. Klein. The Prevalence of Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Associated Risk Factors. Arch Ophthalmol, 2010; 128 (6): 750-758 [link]

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Early stages of age-related macular degeneration associated with smoking, cholesterol levels." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100614161403.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2010, June 14). Early stages of age-related macular degeneration associated with smoking, cholesterol levels. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100614161403.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Early stages of age-related macular degeneration associated with smoking, cholesterol levels." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100614161403.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins