Lower Macular Degeneration Risk for Women Who Eat Fish

Regular consumption of ω-3 fatty acids or fish tied to lower macular degeneration risk in women

TUESDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) -- Regular consumption of ω-3 fatty acids and fish is associated with a significant decrease in the risk of incident age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a study published online March 14 in the Archives of Ophthalmology.

William G. Christen, Sc.D., from the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined whether incidence of AMD was affected by intake of ω-3 fatty acids (docosahexaenoic acid [DHA] and eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA]) and fish in 38,022 female health professionals. Participants without a diagnosis of AMD completed a detailed food-frequency questionnaire. Incident AMD, causing a reduction in best corrected visual acuity to 20/30 or worse as reported by the participants and confirmed by medical record reviews during an average follow-up period of 10 years, was the main outcome measure.

The investigators identified 235 cases of AMD. Women in the highest tertile of DHA or EPA intake had a relative risk of 0.62 and 0.66, respectively, compared to those in the lowest tertiles. The relative risk of AMD was 0.58 in women who consumed one or more servings of fish per week, compared to those who consumed less than one serving per month.

"In this large prospective cohort study of female health professionals, regular consumption of DHA and EPA and fish was associated with a 35 to 45 percent lower risk of visually significant AMD during 10 years of follow-up," the authors write.

Supplies for this study were provided by Bayer Healthcare.

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