Early AMD, Lung Function Not Linked in Mixed-Race Cohort

But early age-related macular degeneration, lung function were associated in smokers in the group

FRIDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- In a mixed racial/ethnic cohort, early age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and lung function were not associated, except among the subset of subjects who had ever smoked, according to a study in the April issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

Ronald Klein, M.D., of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, and colleagues measured AMD in 3,399 white, black, Hispanic, and Chinese subjects (aged 45 to 84) using digital retinal photographs taken at the second Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) examination. They also collected data on forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and the ratio of FEV1 to forced vital capacity (FVC), which were measured at other MESA examinations, and percent emphysema measured from baseline cardiac computed tomography (CT) scans.

The researchers found that early AMD had a prevalence of 3.7 percent, but no overall association was discerned with FEV1 (odds ratio [OR], 0.82; P = .25), FEV1 to FVC ratio (OR, 0.92; P = .43), percent emphysema (OR, 1.13; P = .26), or apical-basilar difference in percent emphysema (OR, 1.14; P = .17). However, AMD-lung function associations were stronger among smokers. Apical-basilar difference in percent emphysema was found to be significantly associated with early AMD among subjects who had ever smoked (OR, 1.28; P = .03).

"Lung function and emphysema on CT scan were not cross-sectionally associated with AMD; this might be explained by the relatively low smoking exposure in this cohort," the authors write.

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