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Vitamin D testing may predict an individual's risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, according to a new study published in the journal Archives of Ophthalmology.
Researchers from the University of Buffalo found that women under age 75 who had the highest levels of the nutrient in their bloodstream were 59 percent less likely to develop AMD at a young age.
The findings are extremely important, the researchers said, because AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in the U.S. Up to 9 percent of the population over age 40 suffers from the condition, which can completely take away a person's sight.
For the study, researchers examined the vitamin D levels of 1,313 women and checked their medical records for signs of vision loss. While there was no connection between vitamin D levels and AMD in older participants, there was a strong correlation between low levels of the nutrient and vision loss in younger women.
The researchers said that their findings confirm the results of similar investigations connecting high levels of vitamin D to protection against AMD.
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