Purpose. Age and advanced disease in the fellow eye are the two most important risk factors for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In this study, the authors investigated the relationship between these variables and the optical density of macular pigment (MP) in a group of subjects from a northern European population. Methods. The optical density of MP was measured psychophysically in 46 subjects ranging in age from 21 to 81 years with healthy maculae and in 9 healthy eyes known to be at high-risk of AMD because of advanced disease in the fellow eye. Each eye in the latter group was matched with a control eye on the basis of variables believed to be associated with the optical density of MP (iris color, gender, smoking habits, age, and lens density). Results. There was an age-related decline in the optical density of macular pigment among volunteers with no ocular disease (right eye: r2 = 0.29, P = 0.0006; left eye: r2 = 0.29, P < 0.0001). Healthy eyes predisposed to AMD had significantly less MP than healthy eyes at no such risk (Wilcoxon's signed rank test: P = 0.015). Conclusions. The two most important risk factors for AMD are associated with a relative absence of MP. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that supplemental lutein and zeaxanthin may delay, avert, or modify the course of this disease.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science|
|State||Published - Feb 17 2001|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience