Objective: The relationship between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) concentrations (nmol/L) and the prevalence of early age-related macular degeneration (AMD) was investigated in participants of the Carotenoids in Age-Related Eye Disease Study.
Methods: Stereoscopic fundus photographs, taken from 2001 to 2004, assessed AMD status. Baseline (1994-1998) serum samples were available for 25(OH)D assays in 1313 women with complete ocular and risk factor data. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for early AMD (n = 241) of 1287 without advanced disease were estimated with logistic regression and adjusted for age, smoking, iris pigmentation, family history of AMD, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hormone therapy use.
Results: In multivariate models, no significant relationship was observed between early AMD and 25(OH)D (OR for quintile 5 vs 1, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.50-1.24; P for trend = .47). A significant age interaction (P = .002) suggested selective mortality bias in women aged 75 years and older: serum 25(OH)D was associated with decreased odds of early AMD in women younger than 75 years (n = 968) and increased odds in women aged 75 years or older (n = 319) (OR for quintile 5 vs 1, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.29-0.91; P for trend = .02 and OR, 1.76; 95% CI, 0.77-4.13; P for trend = .05, respectively). Further adjustment for body mass index and recreational physical activity, predictors of 25(OH)D, attenuated the observed association in women younger than 75 years. Additionally, among women younger than 75 years, intake of vitamin D from foods and supplements was related to decreased odds of early AMD in multivariate models; no relationship was observed with self-reported time spent in direct sunlight.
Conclusions: High serum 25(OH)D concentrations may protect against early AMD in women younger than 75 years.