Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Walking Away From AMD

This summary article was reprinted, with permission, from the December 2006 issue of Review of Ophthalmology. The original full article was published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, September 9, 2006.

Walking Away From AMD

An active lifestyle can reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, according to researchers with the University of Wisconsin Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

“Individuals that exercised regularly (defined as three or more times per week) were 70 percent less likely to develop wet AMD than non-active individuals,” said Michael D. Knudtson, MS, lead researcher of the study. “Additionally, those who walked regularly were linked to a 30 percent reduced risk of developing wet AMD.”

Mr. Knudtson and his team measured the 15-year cumulative incidence of AMD through four examination phases at five-year intervals of a population-based study conducted in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, initiated in 1988 (n=3,874 men and women between ages 43 and 86 years.) Early AMD (pigment abnormalities or soft indistinct drusen), exudative AMD and geographic atrophy were determined by grading stereoscopic color fundus photographs. Physical activity were measured through a questionnaire administered at the baseline examination.

After controlling for age, sex, history of arthritis, systolic blood pressure, body mass index, smoking and education, people with an active lifestyle (defined as regular activity three times a week) at baseline were less likely to develop exudative AMD compared with people without an active lifestyle. After mulitvariate adjustment, increased categories of number of blocks walked per day decreased the risk of exudative AMD. Physical activity was not related to the incidence of early AMD or pure geographic atrophy.

“This study provides evidence that a modifiable behavior, regular physical activity such as walking, may have a protective effect against age-related macular degeneration, but I would like to stress that other lifestyle factors such as diet could not be ruled out as possible explanations for the relationship,” added Mr. Knudtson.


Post a Comment

<< Home