This study of postmenopausal women reports that age-related macular degeneration odds were highest in those with deficient vitamin D status and 2 risk alleles for the CFH and CFI genotypes, suggesting a synergistic effect between vitamin D status and complement cascade protein function.
To investigate the relationships between lifestyle behaviors of diet, smoking, and physical activity and the subsequent prevalence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
The population included 1313 participants (aged 55-74 years) in the Carotenoids in Age-Related Eye Disease Study, an ancillary study of the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study. Scores on a modified 2005 Healthy Eating Index were assigned using responses to a food frequency questionnaire administered at baseline of the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study (1994-1998). Physical activity and lifetime smoking history were queried. An average of 6 years later, stereoscopic fundus photographs were taken to assess the presence and severity of AMD; it was present in 202 women, 94% of whom had early AMD, the primary outcome.
In multivariate models, women whose diets scored in the highest quintile compared with the lowest quintile on the modified 2005 Healthy Eating Index had 46% lower odds for early AMD. Women in the highest quintile compared with those in the lowest quintile for physical activity (in metabolic energy task hours per week) had 54% lower odds for early AMD. Although smoking was not independently associated with AMD on its own, having a combination of 3 healthy behaviors (healthy diet, physical activity, and not smoking) was associated with 71% lower odds for AMD compared with having high-risk scores (P < .001).
Modifying lifestyles might reduce risk for early AMD as much as 3-fold, lowering the risk for advanced AMD in a person's lifetime and the social and economic costs of AMD to society.
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