Sunday, December 11, 2011

Belly-Fat Boosts Eye Disease Risk

Excess abdominal fat increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration in middle-aged men and may have an opposite effect in women, says a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness in older people and treatment options are limited. A study of 21, 290 Australians who were followed from their 40s to mid-80s found that each o.1 increase in the waist/hip ratio was associated with a 13% increased chance of developing early-stage AMD and a 75% increased chance of the more severe late-stage AMD, but only in men. Strangely, abdominal obesity reduced early AMD risk in women by 7% to 11%.

"Belly-fat releases estrogen and other chemicals (like cytokines) that may contribute to inflammation associated with AMD", researchers said. The inverse association in women could reflect a genetic resilience to disease seen older people called "the Survivorship Effect" plus the protective effects of long-term estrogen exposure.

AMD occurs when central vision deteriorates, making reading, close work and recognizing face more difficult. The most common forms are Dry and Wet AMD. Dry AMD results in a gradual loss of central vision and Wet AMD leads to sudden and significant changes in vision.

What are the symptoms?

  • A gradual decline in the ability to see objects clearly

  • Distorted vision

  • Dark or empty spaces blocking the central field of vision

  • Dimming of colour vision

The Way I See It....there is currently no cure of Age-related Macular Degeneration but treatments are available that are aimed at maintaining the vision for as long possible. You must visit an eye doctor about seeing if other eye problems that affect vision can be detected. Also an up-to-date glasses prescription is important as well as getting any cataracts and glaucoma treated.

Aside from the new found belly-fat risk just mentioned, there is a now a well-established link between smoking and it makes good sense for women as well as men to avoid or give up smoking as they enter their third trimester of Life.

1 comment:

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