Author(s): Karger AB, Guan W, Nomura SO, Weir NL, Klein BEK, Burke GL, Johnson WC, Tsai MY. Association of plasma ω-3 fatty acids with early age-related macular degeneration in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Retina. 2022 Mar 9. doi: 10.1097/IAE.0000000000003465. [Epub ahead of print] PMID 35271555
Journal: Retina (Philadelphia, Pa.), Mar 2022
PURPOSE To examine the association between omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in the Multi-ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) cohort.
METHODS MESA is a multi-center, prospective cohort study designed to identify risk factors for cardiovascular disease in four ethnic groups. 6,814 participants of white, African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Chinese descent, ages 45 – 84 years, were recruited, with those found to have cardiovascular disease excluded. Our study population included all MESA participants with baseline PUFA measurements and retinal photography at exam 5 (n = 3,772). Fundus photographs were assessed for AMD using a standard grading protocol. Relative risk regression (log-link) determined associations between PUFA levels and AMD.
RESULTS There was a significant association between increasing DHA levels and increasing DHA + EPA levels with reduced risk for early AMD (n = 214 participants with early AMD, of which n = 99 (46.3%) are non-white). EPA levels alone were not significantly associated with AMD.
CONCLUSION Our analysis suggests increasing levels of DHA are associated with reduced risk for early AMD in a multi-ethnic cohort. This represents the first racially diverse study demonstrating an association between omega-3 PUFAs and AMD risk.