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Two Studies Suggest Fish In Diet May Curb AMD

Smoking increases risk of age-related macular degeneration

MONDAY, July 10 (HealthDay News) -- Consumption of fish high in omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration while smoking increases the risk, according to two studies published in the July issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

In the first study, Johanna M. Seddon, M.D., Sc.M., of Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, and colleagues conducted a study of 681 twins to determine genetic and environmental risk factors for age-related macular degeneration. Of this group, 222 had intermediate or late-stage age-related macular degeneration and 459 had none or only early signs of the disease.

Current smokers has almost double the risk of age-related macular degeneration, while past smokers had a 1.7-fold higher risk. Those who ate two or more servings of fish a week had reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration and there was an inverse association between intake of omega-3 fatty acid and the eye condition.

In the second study, Brian Chua, B.Sc., M.B.B.S., M.P.H., of the University of Sydney in New South Wales, Australia, and colleagues re-examined 2,335 survivors of the 1992-1994 Blue Mountains Eye Study five years after they were enrolled (1997-1999). Those in the highest quintile for intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fat had a lower risk of incident early age-related maculopathy (ARM), with fish consumption at least once a week conferring a 40 percent reduction of risk.

"A regular diet high in omega-3 polyunsaturated fat, especially from fish, suggests protection against early and late ARM," the authors conclude.

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