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Friday, January 15, 2010

Omega 3s Decrease age-related macular degeneration (AMD) Risk

Omega 3 intake was linked to decreased incidence of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and central geographic atrophy, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Researchers undertook a nested cohort study within a multicenter phase 3 clinical trial, the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), to study progression to advanced AMD in 1837 persons at moderate-to-high risk of this condition.

The AREDS was designed to assess the clinical course, prognosis, risk factors and nutrient-based treatments of AMD and ran from November 1992 to December 2005. Researchers obtained baseline data on omega 3 EPA and DHA intake with a validated food-frequency questionnaire. Trained fundus graders ascertained AMD status from annual stereoscopic color photographs by using standardized methods at a single reading center across a 12-year period.

According to study results, participants who reported the highest omega 3 intake (median: 0.11% of total energy intake) were 30% less likely than their peers to develop CGA and NV AMD. The respective odds ratios were 0.65 (95% CI: 0.45, 0.92; P ≤ 0.02) and 0.68 (95% CI: 0.49, 0.94; P ≤ 0.02).

The 12-year incidence of CGA and NV AMD in participants at moderate-to-high risk of these outcomes was lowest for those reporting the highest consumption of omega 3. Researchers concluded these results may guide the development of low-cost and easily implemented preventive interventions for progression to advanced AMD.

Research was supported by the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services.

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