The (7/8, Satija) reported that a study published in the July issue of Ophthalmology detailed the influence of genetics and environment on the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Researchers “looked at over 200 male pairs of identical twins” in which some twins both had the disease but at different stages, or only one twin did. The study found that heavy smoking was correlated with more advanced AMD, whereas eating foods high in betaine and methionine correlates with slower development of disease. “A previous study of identical and fraternal twins…found that genetics explained between 46 and 71 percent of the severity of the disease, while environmental factors explained between 19 and 37 percent.”
Medscape (6/14, Barclay) reported, “High dietary intake of antioxidants is associated with a lower risk for early age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in genetically predisposed individuals,” according to a study published in the June issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology. In a study of 2,167 individuals over the age of 55 who were at risk of AMD, researchers found “a possible biological interaction between the CFH Y402H genotype and intakes of zinc, β-carotene, lutein/zeaxanthin, and eicosapentaenoic/docosahexaenoic acid (EPA/DHA), and between the LOC387715 A69S genotype and zinc and EPA/DHA, based on significant synergy indices (P < .05 for all).” Notably, “participants who were homozygous for CFH Y402H and had dietary zinc intake in the highest tertile had a reduction in HR for early AMD from 2.25 to 1.27.”
Medscape (5/6, Osterweil) reported that, according to a study presented at a vision research meeting, “An experimental fusion protein was safe and was associated with statistically significant improvements in visual acuity and other parameters, compared with sham injections, in patients with macular edema secondary to central retinal vein occlusion, and also showed efficacy in neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD).” Specifically, “six-month follow-up results from the phase 3 COPERNICUS (Controlled Phase 3 Evaluation of Repeated Intravitreal Administration of VEGF Trap-Eye In Central Retinal Vein Occlusion: Utility and Safety) trial showed that 56.1% of patients who received the protein gained at least three lines of visual acuity (15 or more letters), compared with 12.3% of control subjects who received sham injections (P < .0001).”
ABC World News (4/11, story 8, 1:55, Stephanopoulos) reported that vitamin D may help protect women against age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a new study .
MedPage Today (4/11, Neale) reported that “looked at data from the Carotenoids in Age-Related Eye Disease Study (CAREDS), which was conducted under the umbrella of the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study. In CAREDS, age-related macular degeneration status was assessed an average of six years after serum samples were analyzed for 25(OH)D status.” The new analysis, published in the Archives of Ophthalmology, “included 1,313 women ages 50 to 79.”
WebMD (4/11, Hendrick) reported that “in the study, researchers say women under 75 who got the most vitamin D had a 59% decreased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, compared to women with the lowest vitamin D intake.” The “researchers also found that the women who had a blood vitamin D level higher than 38 nmol/L had a 48% decreased risk of early” AMD. “A blood level of 50 nmol/L is considered sufficient, according to the Institute of Medicine.”
The UK’s Daily Mail (4/12) reports that “these results did not apply to vitamin D absorbed via sunlight — the association was only seen with women who consumed the vitamin in foods and supplements.” The “researchers found that time spent in the sun did not affect risk levels, even though the most important source of vitamin D is it generation in the skin as a reaction to sunlight.” The UK’s Telegraph (4/12, Beckford) also covers the story.
The UK’s Daily Mail (4/1, Hagan) reports, “An expanding waistline puts men in danger of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD).” After monitoring “changes in the waistlines of more than 21,000 men and women, aged between 40 and 69, over several years,” then following the study population to determine how many cases of AMD developed, Australian researchers discovered that “even small increases in waist size seem to raise the risk of AMD by up to 75 per cent” in men. Women do not seem to be affected, however.
In continuing coverage, the Washington Post (3/29, Searing) reports that omega-3 fatty acid fish oils may help prevent the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a study published online March 14 in the Archives of Ophthalmology. For the study, researchers analyzed “data on 38,022 women, who averaged 55 years old and had no AMD at the start of the study.” Over the course of ten years, researchers found that women “who regularly consumed at least one serving of fish a week — especially canned tuna or dark-meat fish such as mackerel, salmon, sardines, bluefish or swordfish — were 42 percent less likely to have developed AMD than were women who ate less than one serving of fish a month.”