20/20--Alcohol and age-related macular degeneration: the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study.
ABSTRACT Little evidence exists regarding associations between age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and moderate alcohol consumption, patterns of consumption, or different types of alcoholic beverage. The authors examined associations between AMD prevalence and alcohol intake using 20,963 participants from the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study aged 40-69 years at baseline (1990-1994). Participants' alcohol consumption was determined from a structured interview at baseline. At follow-up from 2003 to 2007, digital macula photographs of both eyes were taken and evaluated for early and late AMD signs. Drinking more than 20 g of alcohol per day was associated with an approximate 20% increase in the odds of early AMD (odds ratio = 1.21, 95% confidence interval: 1.06, 1.38; P = 0.004) when compared with those who reported no alcohol intake at baseline, having adjusted for sex, age, smoking, country of birth, education, physical activity, and energy from food. This positive association was apparent for wine, beer, and spirits. The estimates were similar for both sexes. The odds ratio for those drinking more than 20 g of alcohol per day for late AMD was 1.44 (95% confidence interval: 0.85, 2.45; P = 0.17). These results show a modest association between alcohol consumption and increased AMD risk.