Cholesterol and age-related macular degeneration: is there a link?
van Leeuwen R., Klaver CCW., Vingerling JR., Hofman A., van Duijn CM., Stricker BHC., de Jong PTVM.
PURPOSE: To examine the relation among serum cholesterol, apolipoprotein E genotype (APOE), and the risk of early and late age-related macular degeneration (AMD). DESIGN: The Rotterdam Study, a population based prospective cohort study. METHODS: 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. RESULTS: 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. CONCLUSION: 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.