Delegates at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology in early May have heard that patients with a higher level of dietary and supplementary calcium intake showed a lower incidence of progression of late age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Researchers retrospectively analysed 4,751 patients from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), 56 per cent of whom were female with a median age of 69. Participants had been followed from 1992 to 2005 (from 1992 to 2001 as a clinical trial).
Calcium intake (dietary and supplements) was estimated based on responses to a baseline dietary questionnaire. The researchers graded baseline and annual fundus photographs at a reading centre using a standardised protocol to assess the progression of age-related macular degeneration.
When stratified by gender, they found that women in the highest quintile of dietary intake of calcium had a lower risk of development of late AMD compared with those in the lowest quintile.
Similar findings were found in men for dietary calcium, however too few men took calcium supplements to allow for analyses.
The researchers concluded that although higher levels of calcium intake were associated with a lower incidence of progression to late AMD further investigation into the association was warranted.
Tisdale A. The association of calcium intake with incidence of age-related macular degeneration in the age-related eye disease study (AREDS).