By Adrian Galbreth
Early-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD) may be related to risk factors including smoking and low levels of cholesterol, according to a study.
In a report published in the June issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals, experts noted that the condition appears uncommon before the age of 55 but the risk increases with age thereafter.
During the study, Dr Ronald Klein, from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, assessed 2,810 people aged between 21 and 84 and analysed an early sign of AMD according to cholesterol levels and smoking.
The expert stated: "The results demonstrate that early AMD onset may occur in midlife. Some modifiable factors, such as smoking status and cholesterol level, associated with AMD in older cohorts were associated with early AMD in this cohort of middle-aged adults."
Earlier this year, research conducted the National Eye Institute and published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggested there are three new genes associated with AMD - two of which are involved in the cholesterol pathway.
by Alexa Kaczka