Sun, anti-oxidant may predict age-related macular degeneration risk

November 1, 2008

A combination of blue light exposure and low blood levels of anti-oxidants may be associated with an increased risk of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), as well as early AMD, according to research published in the October issue of Archives of Ophthalmology.

Key Points

London-A combination of blue light exposure and low blood levels of anti-oxidants may be associated with an increased risk of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), as well as early AMD, according to research published in the October issue of Archives of Ophthalmology.

Astrid E. Fletcher, PhD, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and colleagues analyzed data on sunlight exposure and anti-oxidants in 101 subjects with neovascular AMD, 2,182 subjects with early AMD, and 2,117 control subjects aged 65 and older, enrolled in the European Eye Study.

Researchers found significant associations between blue light exposure and neovascular AMD in subjects with the lowest levels of vitamin C, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, and dietary zinc (odds ratio about 1.4 for 1 standard deviation unit increase in blue light exposure). They also found significant associations between combined blue light exposure and low anti-oxidant levels with early AMD (OR, 3.7).