Healthy lifestyles related to subsequent prevalence of age-related macular degeneration

Arch Ophthalmol. 2011 Apr;129(4):470-80. doi: 10.1001/archophthalmol.2010.314. Epub 2010 Dec 13.

Abstract

Objective: To investigate the relationships between lifestyle behaviors of diet, smoking, and physical activity and the subsequent prevalence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Methods: 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.

Results: 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).

Conclusion: 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.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Diet*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Lutein / administration & dosage
  • Lutein / blood
  • Macular Degeneration / blood
  • Macular Degeneration / diagnosis
  • Macular Degeneration / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tocopherols / administration & dosage
  • Tocopherols / blood
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Xanthophylls / administration & dosage
  • Xanthophylls / blood
  • Zeaxanthins

Substances

  • Xanthophylls
  • Zeaxanthins
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Tocopherols
  • Lutein

Grant support