High levels of vitamin D appear to lower risk of age-related macular degeneration in young women

ScienceDaily (Apr. 12, 2011) — High levels of vitamin D in the bloodstream appear to be associated with a decreased risk of developing early age-related macular degeneration among women younger than 75 years, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

“Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a chronic, late-onset disease that results in degeneration of the macula, is the leading cause of adult irreversible vision loss in developed countries,” the authors write as background information in the article. “Age-related macular degeneration affects approximately 9 percent (8.5 million) of Americans aged 40 years and older.”

Amy E. Millen, Ph.D., of the School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo, New York, and colleagues examined data from 1,313 women to investigate if serum 25(OH)D levels in the blood was associated with early age-related macular degeneration. “Serum 25(OH)D is the preferred biomarker for vitamin D status, as it reflects vitamin D exposure from both oral sources and sunlight.” Women were participants of the Carotenoids in Age-Related Eye Disease Study, an ancillary study within the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study.


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