Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in people over 60 in western countries. Inflammatory markers have been implicated in the development and progression of AMD. C-reactive protein (CRP) is an inflammatory marker known to be associated with cardiovascular disease, and a link between AMD and CRP has been suggested. In this systematic review we summarize the currently available evidence from clinic-based and population-based studies investigating this association. A meta-analysis of evidence from eleven studies (41,690 study participants) shows that high serum levels (>3 mg/L) of CRP are associated with a two-fold likelihood of late onset AMD, compared to low levels (<1mg/L). Sub-group meta-analyses show a higher association in studies using ophthalmoscopic examination, compared to those using photographic grading (pooled odds ratio 3.83 vs 1.36), to determine AMD status, or in clinic-based samples compared to population-based studies.
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