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Maculopathy Risk Lower in Women with High Bone Density

Odds ratio 0.63 for highest versus lowest quartile of bone density

WEDNESDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- A higher bone mineral density is associated with a lower risk of developing age-related maculopathy in elderly women, according to the results of a study published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Robin Seitzman, Ph.D., from University of California Los Angeles, and colleagues examined the association between bone mineral density and age-related maculopathy in 1,042 women at least 65 years old. Age-related maculopathy was determined from fundus photographs and total hip bone mineral density was measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry.

The researchers found that 50 percent of women had age-related maculopathy. After adjustment for confounders, a higher bone mineral density lowered the risk of age-related maculopathy (odds ratio 0.63 for highest versus lowest quartile, or 0.66 for highest quartile versus all three lower quartiles combined).

"The underlying mechanism is unknown, although bone mineral density may be a marker for lifetime endogenous estrogen exposure. Future studies are needed to replicate these findings and further investigate the nature of the relationship between bone mineral density and age-related maculopathy," Seitzman and colleagues conclude.

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