Oily fish consumption, dietary docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid intakes, and associations with neovascular age-related macular degeneration

Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Aug;88(2):398-406. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/88.2.398.


Background: Fish intake, the major source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Objective: We investigated the association of oily fish and dietary DHA and EPA with neovascular AMD (NV-AMD).

Design: Participants aged >/=65 y in the cross-sectional population-based EUREYE study underwent fundus photography and were interviewed by using a food-frequency questionnaire. Fundus images were graded by the International Classification System for Age Related Maculopathy. Questionnaire data were converted to nutrient intakes with the use of food-composition tables. Survey logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs of energy-adjusted quartiles of EPA or DHA with NV-AMD, taking into account potential confounders.

Results: Dietary intake data and fundus images were available for 105 cases with NV-AMD and for 2170 controls without any features of early or late AMD. Eating oily fish at least once per week compared with less than once per week was associated with a halving of the odds of NV-AMD (OR = 0.47; 95% CI: 0.33, 0.68; P = 0.002). Compared with the lowest quartile, there was a significant trend for decreased odds with increasing quartiles of either DHA or EPA. ORs in the highest quartiles were 0.32 (95% CI: 0.12, 0.87; P = 0.03) for DHA and 0.29 (95% CI: 0.11, 0.73; P = 0.02) for EPA.

Conclusions: Eating oily fish at least once per week compared with less than once per week was associated with a halving of the OR for NV-AMD.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet Surveys
  • Diet*
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / administration & dosage*
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Fish Oils*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Macular Degeneration / epidemiology*
  • Macular Degeneration / etiology
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Fish Oils
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid