Nitrate-nitrogen levels in rural drinking water: Is there an association with age-related macular degeneration?

a Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences , University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health , Madison , Wisconsin , USA.
Journal of Environmental Science and Health Part A Toxic/Hazardous Substances & Environmental Engineering (Impact Factor: 1.16). 12/2013; 48(14):1757-63. DOI: 10.1080/10934529.2013.823323
Source: PubMed


We examined the association of nitrate-nitrogen exposure from rural private drinking water and incidence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). All participants in the Beaver Dam Eye Study (53916 improvement plan code) completed a questionnaire and had an ocular examination including standardized, graded fundus photographs at five examinations. Only information from rural residents in that study are included in this report. Data from an environmental monitoring study with probabilistic-based agro-chemical sampling, including nitrate-nitrogen, of rural private drinking water were available. Incidence of early AMD was associated with elevated nitrate-nitrogen levels in rural private drinking water supply (10.0% for low, 19.2% for medium, and 26.1% for high nitrate-nitrogen level in the right eye). The odds ratios (ORs) were 1.77 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.12-2.78) for medium and 2.88 (95% CI: 1.59-5.23) for high nitrate-nitrogen level. Incidence of late AMD was increased for those with medium or high levels of nitrate-nitrogen compared to low levels (2.3% for low and 5.1% for the medium or high nitrate-nitrogen level, for the right eye). The OR for medium or high nitrate-nitrogen groups was 2.80 (95% CI: 1.07-7.31) compared to the low nitrate-nitrogen group.

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    • "In densely populated and fast-developing countries like China, clean water is a challenging issue in prospective politics and environmental planning (Bergmann et al., 2012). Some studies have chemically analyzed isolated pollutants in drinking water (Zhu et al., 2014; Klein et al., 2013; Post et al., 2013). Organisms (including humans) are exposed not only to isolated pollutants but also to complex chemical mixtures, the individual components of which might be present at concentrations too low to raise concern. "
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    • "-is the most common pollutant in groundwater [8] [14] [18] [19]. High NO 3 -levels in groundwater may originate from a number of sources, including leaking septic tanks, animal wastes, and overuse of nitrogen fertilizers [5] [20]. "
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