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Int J Med Sci. 2019 May 7;16(5):623-629. doi: 10.7150/ijms.30155. eCollection 2019.

Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD) Deficiency and Late-stage Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

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Department of Medical, Surgical, and Experimental Sciences, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy.
Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Sassari, Sassari, Italy.
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy.
Department of Medicine - Ophthalmology, University of Udine, Udine, Italy.
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Catania, Catania, Italy.
Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


Purpose: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly in Western Countries. Evidence indicates that Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency, a common genetic abnormality, may protect against ischemic heart and cerebrovascular disease, ocular vascular disorders, and colorectal cancer. This study was undertaken to ascertain whether G6PD deficiency may protect against AMD. Materials and Methods: 79 men with late-stage AMD and 79 male, age-matched cataract controls without AMD were recruited in March-December 2016. Smoking status, clinical history, and drug use were recorded. A blood sample was taken from each participant. Complete blood count, hemoglobin, glucose, creatinine, cholesterol, triglycerides, transaminases, bilirubin, and erythrocyte G6PD activity were measured. Stepwise logistic regression was used to investigate the association between G6PD deficiency and AMD. Results: G6PD deficiency was found in 7 (8.9%) AMD patients and 8 (10.1%) controls, a not statistically significant difference. Stepwise logistic regression disclosed that AMD was significantly associated with increased diastolic blood pressure (OR=1.09, 95% CI=1.03-1.15, P=0.02) and LDL-cholesterol (OR=1.02, 95% CI=1.0001-1.03, P=0.049) and lower values of white blood cell (WBC) count (OR=0.71, 95% CI=0.56-0.88, P=0.02) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) (OR=0.92, 95% CI=0.85-0.99, P=0.044). Conclusion: Results suggest that G6PD deficiency has no protective effect on nor is a risk factor for AMD. Larger studies are necessary to confirm whether increased diastolic blood pressure and LDL-cholesterol and lower values of WBC count and AST are risk factors for AMD.


Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency; age-related macular degeneration (AMD); observational case-control study; stepwise logistic regression analysis

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interest exists.

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