Diet and risk factors for age-related maculopathy

Eamonn D. O'Connell, John M. Nolan, Jim Stack, David Greenberg, Janet Kyle, LeighAnne Maddock, Stephen Beatty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Evidence continues to accumulate that oxidative stress is etiologically important in the pathogenesis of age-related maculopathy (ARM) and that appropriate antioxidants of dietary origin may protect against this condition.

Objective: Risk factors for ARM may be classed as established or putative. We report a study designed to investigate whether such risk factors are associated with a dietary lack of antioxidants relevant to retinal health.

Design: Dietary, anthropometric, and sociodemographic details relating to 828 healthy Irish subjects aged 20-60 y were recorded in a cross-sectional fashion and analyzed for associations between risk factors for ARM and dietary intake of relevant nutrients.

Results: Of the established risk factors for ARM, increasing age was associated with a relative lack of dietary zeaxanthin (P < 0.05) and tobacco use with a relative lack of dietary vitamin C (P < 0.05). Of the putative risk factors for ARM, alcohol consumption was associated with a relative lack of dietary a-linoleic acid (P < 0.05), and female sex was associated with a relative lack of dietary zinc (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: We showed that several variables related to risk for ARM are associated with a relative dietary lack of key nutrients. Our finding that age, the most important and universal risk factor for ARM, is associated with a relative lack of dietary zeaxanthin, is an important finding that warrants further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)712-722
Number of pages11
JournalThe American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008


  • age-related macular degeneration
  • age-related maculopathy
  • antioxidants
  • lutein
  • n-3 fatty acids
  • zeaxanthin
  • beaver dam eye
  • food-frequency questionnaire
  • blue-mountains eye
  • nutrition examination survey
  • senile macular degeneration
  • pigment optical-density
  • 3rd national health
  • 5-year incidence
  • Japanese population
  • seasonal-variation


Dive into the research topics of 'Diet and risk factors for age-related maculopathy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this