Serum lipids in adults with late age-related macular degeneration: A case-control study

Richard D. Semba, Ruin Moaddel, Mary Frances Cotch, Fridbert Jonasson, Gudny Eiriksdottir, Tamara B. Harris, Lenore J. Launer, Kai Sun, Ronald Klein, Debra A. Schaumberg, Pálmi Jónsson, Vilmundur Gudnason, Luigi Ferrucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Lipids are implicated in the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The relationship between systemic lipids and AMD has not been well characterized. The objective was to investigate the relationship between serum lipids and AMD in older adults using a lipidomic approach. Methods: In a case-control study, 240 adults, aged ≥66 years, a third each having geographic atrophy, neovascular AMD, or no signs of AMD, were selected from a population-based sample of participants in the Age Gene/Environment Susceptibility-Reykjavik Study. The exposure was serum lipids and risk factors for AMD. The outcome was late AMD, assessed through fundus images taken through dilated pupils using a 45-degree digital camera and grading for neovascular AMD and geographic atrophy using the modified Wisconsin Age-Related Maculopathy Grading System. Results: Of 177 serum lipid species measured, there were no significant differences in serum lipids between controls and those with geographic atrophy or neovascular AMD, respectively. Adults with neovascular AMD had higher total serum lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) (P = 0.004) and serum LPC 18:0 (P = 0.0002) compared to those with geographic atrophy. Conclusion: Late AMD was not characterized by alterations in systemic lipids compared with normal controls. These findings suggest that there may be differences in the LPC pathway between adults with neovascular AMD and geographic atrophy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7
JournalLipids in Health and Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 8 2019


  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Aging
  • Geographic atrophy
  • Lipids
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Neovascular AMD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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