The impact of fish and shellfish consumption on age-related macular degeneration

Ophthalmology. 2010 Dec;117(12):2395-401. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2010.03.058. Epub 2010 Jul 13.


Purpose: To determine the relationship between fish and shellfish consumption and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) status in the Salisbury Eye Evaluation (SEE) Study participants.

Design: A cross-sectional study of dietary and ophthalmologic data.

Participants: A random sample of 2520 Salisbury, Maryland, residents aged 65 to 84 years.

Methods: A food frequency questionnaire was used to estimate weekly fish/shellfish consumption for each participant. Age-related macular degeneration status was determined from fundus photographs obtained at baseline and graded by 2 masked readers for drusen size, retinal pigment epithelium abnormalities, geographic atrophy (GA), and choroidal neovascularization (CNV). The association between weekly fish/shellfish intake and risk of AMD was investigated using logistic regression while adjusting for risk factors and correlation between eyes.

Main outcome measures: Status of AMD.

Results: The distribution of weekly fish/shellfish consumption was not different between specific AMD categories compared with controls (P = 0.6, 0.7, and 0.7 for large drusen, pigment abnormalities, and advanced AMD compared with controls, respectively). Those with advanced AMD (CNV or GA) were significantly less likely to consume fish/shellfish high in omega-3 fatty acids (odds ratio 0.4; confidence interval, 0.2-0.8). There was no relationship of AMD with intake of crab and oysters combined, each of which has high levels of zinc.

Conclusions: These data support a protective effect of fish/shellfish intake against advanced AMD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet Records
  • Diet*
  • Eating
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Fish Products*
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration / diagnosis
  • Macular Degeneration / epidemiology*
  • Macular Degeneration / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Maryland / epidemiology
  • Photography
  • Risk Factors
  • Shellfish*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires