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Am J Ophthalmol. 2004 Apr;137(4):750-2.

Cholesterol and age-related macular degeneration: is there a link?

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.



To examine the relation among serum cholesterol, apolipoprotein E genotype (APOE), and the risk of early and late age-related macular degeneration (AMD).


The Rotterdam Study, a population based prospective cohort study.


Serum levels of total and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol as well as APOE genotype were determined at baseline. Of 3,944 subjects, 400 were diagnosed with incident early and late AMD after a mean follow-up of 5.2 years.


Serum HDL, but not total, cholesterol was associated with an increased risk of AMD (odds ratio/SD, 1.20; 95% confidence interval; 1.06-1.35). The association remained unchanged after adjustment for APOE genotype. When stratifying for APOE genotype, the association was strongest in persons with the e 4 allele; an inverse association seemed to be present for e 2 carriers.


Elevated HDL but not total cholesterol is associated with an increased risk of AMD. Apolipoprotein E genotype does not explain this association but may be an effect modifier.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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