Purpose: To investigate the association of cardiovascular risk factors and inflammatory markers with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Design: Cross-sectional case-control study. Participants: Of the 410 of the =65-year-old community sample invited to attend, 205 participated (50% response rate). Of the 215 clinic attendees who were invited to participate, 212 agreed to take part (98% response rate). A diagnosis of neovascular AMD in at least one eye was made in 193 clinic attendees and 2 of the community sample. Methods: Clinic and community participants underwent a detailed ophthalmic examination with fundus imaging, were interviewed for assessment of putative risk factors, and provided a blood sample. Analysis included levels of serum lipids, intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM), vascular cellular adhesion molecule (VCAM), and C-reactive protein (CRP). All participants were classified by fundus image grading on the basis of the eye with more severe AMD features. Main Outcome Measure: Neovascular AMD. Results: There were 195 participants with choroidal neovascularization in at least one eye, 97 nonneovascular AMD participants, and 115 controls (no drusen or pigmentary irregularities in either eye). In confounder-adjusted logistic regression, a history of cardiovascular disease was strongly associated with neovascular AMD (odds ratio [OR], 7.53; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.78-20.41). Cigarette smoking (OR, 3.71; 95% CI, 1.25-11.06), being in the highest quartile of body mass index (OR, 3.82; 95% CI, 1.22-12.01), stage 2 hypertension (OR, 3.21; 95% CI, 1.14-8.98), and being in the highest quartile of serum cholesterol (OR, 4.66; 95% CI, 1.35-16.13) were positively associated with neovascular AMD. There was no association between AMD status and serum CRP, ICAM, or VCAM. Conclusions: Our results suggest that cardiovascular disease plays an etiological role in the development of choroidal neovascularization in a proportion of older adults and highlight the importance of control of blood pressure and cholesterol, avoidance of smoking, and maintenance of a normal body weight. © 2008 American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Bibliographical noteIF 5.45; 2/58 Ophthalmology
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