Several large studies have shown a positive relationship between age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) and high body mass index. The waist-hip ratio is also associated with development of early AMD. Visceral fat has a pro-inflammatory effect, which means it has an influence on immune system through the production of various neurotransmitters. The aim of this case-control study was to determine the relationship of the body fat distribution in patients with ARMD compared to a healthy control group with a normal fundus in the Austrian population using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Fifty-four patients with exudative ARMD and 46 gender- and age-matched control subjects were included in the study. DEXA revealed central-abdominal-to-total body fat ratio of 0.073 +/ _ 0.011 in AMD patients compared to 0.061 +/_ 0.013 in the controls (p<0.001; d=0.98). The calculation of BMI has provided a significant result (p=0.045). U-test results for Aß1-42, IL-6, SAA and CRP each were significant (p<0.05), with higher values in AMD patients. Leptin, TNF-alpha and Aß1-40 showed no significant differences between the groups. The study concluded that abdominal fat distribution is significantly associated with age-related macular degeneration. Analysis of patients with exudative AMD revealed higher levels of CRP, amyloid ß1-42, IL-6 and amyloid alpha.

Impact of visceral fat and pro-inflammatory factors on the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration.
Haas P, Kubista KE, Krugluger W, et al.
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Bheemanagouda Patil

Waikato Hospital, Hamilton, New Zealand

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