Reconsidering the connection between vitamin D levels and age-related macular degeneration

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Recent evidence has suggested a correlation between reduced vitamin D levels and delayed angiogenesis and reduced inflammatory response, which are known to have a major role in the development and progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Design: Cross-sectional study. Participants: Members of the Maccabi Healthcare Services (MHS, one of the four largest Israeli Health Maintenance Organization) aged ≥ 60 years, whose vitamin D levels were taken as part of routine examinations between 2000 and 2008. Methods: All data for this study were obtained from MHS databases that include medical information on 1.8 million subscribers. Main outcome measures: Serum 25-OH vitamin D levels. Results: The total study population comprised of 1045 members diagnosed as having AMD, and 8124 as non-AMD, for whom there was information on vitamin D levels. The mean ± SD level of 25-OH vitamin D was 24.1±9.41 ng/ml (range 0.8-120) for the AMD patients and 24.13±9.50 ng/ml (range 0.0-120) for the controls (P=ns). One-third (33.6%) of the AMD patients and 32.86% of the controls had a 25-OH vitamin D level <16 ng/ml, and the proportions of tests in which the 25-OH vitamin D level was >74 ng/ml were 0.19 and 0.14%, respectively (P=ns)ConclusionsNo association was detected between vitamin D levels and the presence of AMD in this cross-sectional study. These results raise some doubt about an association between reduced vitamin D levels and the prevalence of AMD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1122-1129
Number of pages8
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Health Maintenance Organization
  • Maccabi Healthcare Services
  • age-related macular degeneration
  • serum 25-OH vitamin D


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