Relationship of dietary fat to age-related maculopathy in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

Roschelle A. Heuberger, Julie A. Mares-Perlman, Ronald Klein, Barbara E.K. Klein, Amy E. Millen, Mari Palta

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33 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the associations between dietary fat and age-related maculopathy (ARM) in persons 40 years or older who participated in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Methods: We used a single, nonmydriatic, fundus photograph of 1 eye to ascertain ARM status in 7883 of 11448 survey participants. Intake of fat was estimated from 24-hour recall, and specific sources of dietary fat were estimated from responses to food frequency questionnaires. Logistic regression was used to compute odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) that accounted for complex survey design, nonresponse, and potential risk factors for ARM (age, smoking, race, sex, body mass index, history of cardiovascular disease or hypertension, eye color, and sedentary lifestyle). Persons aged 40 to 79 years (n=7405) were included in analyses for early ARM (n=644); those 60 years or older (n=4294) were included in analyses for late ARM (n=53). Results: After adjustment for age, race, eye color, and sedentary lifestyle, OR for early ARM was 1.4 (95% CI, 0.9-2.2; P for trend, .10) among persons in high vs low quintiles of total fat intake (percentage of total energy). Associations for specific types of fatty acids (as percentages of caloric intake) were in the same direction and unrelated to ARM. The OR for late ARM was 0.7 (95% CI, 0.2-2.6; P for trend, .60) in persons 60 years or older. Further adjustments for other potential confounders did not significantly affect the ORs. Conclusion: Age-related maculopathy was not significantly associated with dietary fat in this large cross-sectional survey.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1833-1838
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Ophthalmology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2001


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