Putting on weight in later life increases the risk of men developing age-related
macular degeneration (AMD), researchers in Australia have discovered.
small increases in waist size seem to raise the risk of AMD by up to 75 per
cent. But women do not appear to be affected.
reason may be the hormone oestrogen which woman have in higher levels all their
lives. In men abdominal fat releases
oestrogen which causes inflammation in the blood vessels behind the eyes.
the Australian study, researchers at the University of Melbourne examined changes
in the waistlines of more than 21,000 men and women, aged between 40 and 69,
over several years and tracked how many went on to develop AMD.
concluded that the chronic inflammation caused by obesity was involved in AMD.
the Australian team found that for each increase of 0.1 in the waist/hip ratio,
a man’s chances of developing AMD increased by 75 per cent.
affects older people, usually after the age of 50. The numbers affected are
likely to increase as the ageing populations increase in developed nations. The
report suggests that healthy eating earlier in life helps prevent the disease.
in ten cases involve ‘dry AMD’, which develops over several years. The rest
involve ‘wet AMD’, which can cause blindness in a matter of months.
is caused by the growth of new blood vessels over the macula, a small
oval-shaped area at the back of the eye that helps us pick out visual details
involves monthly injections into the back of the eye of drugs designed to curb
the growth of abnormal blood vessels. Given early enough, it can help to
prevent complete loss of vision.