(HealthDay News) – Pooled results from five cohorts confirm that high levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) correlate with increased future risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to research published online Feb. 7 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Vinod P. Mitta, MD, MPH, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues conducted a pooled analysis of prospective nested case-control data from five cohorts to examine the correlation between hsCRP and the risk of AMD in U.S. men and women. A total of 647 incident cases of AMD were identified and matched with controls (two controls for each case of dry AMD and three for each case of neovascular AMD).

After adjustment for smoking status, the researchers found that the cohort-specific odds ratios for incident AMD for participants with high (>3mg/L) vs. low (<1mg/L) hsCRP levels ranged from 0.94 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.58–1.51) to 2.59 (95% CI, 0.58–11.67). After heterogeneity testing, pooled findings across the cohorts showed that there was a significantly increased risk of incident AMD for those with high vs. low hsCRP levels (odds ratio, 1.49). Those with high hsCRP levels also had a significantly increased risk of neovascular AMD (odds ratio, 1.84).

“Overall, these pooled findings from five prospective cohorts add further evidence that elevated levels of hsCRP predict greater future risk of AMD,” the authors write. “This information might shed light on underlying mechanisms and could be of clinical utility in the identification of persons at high risk of AMD who may benefit from increased adherence to lifestyle recommendations, eye examination schedules, and therapeutic protocols.”

One author is a co-inventor on patents relating to the use of inflammatory biomarkers in cardiovascular disease and diabetes that have been licensed to AstraZeneca and Siemens.

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