Macular pigment optical density in young adults of South Asian origin

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Purpose: To assess the range of macular pigment optical density (MPOD) in a healthy group of young adults of South Asian origin; to investigate whether any dietary factors or personal characteristics were related to inter-subject variations in MPOD; and to compare the mean MPOD of the South Asian group with the mean MPOD of a white group. Methods: Heterochromatic flicker photometry was used to measure the MP levels of 169 healthy volunteers, of which 117 were Asian and 52 were white. In addition, the Asian participants completed a questionnaire pertaining to the various physical, ocular, lifestyle, dietary and environmental factors that may be associated with MPOD or age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Results: The mean MPOD of the Asian subjects was 0.43±0.14. The male participants had a higher mean MPOD than the females (0.47±0.13 vs 0.41±0.14, p<0.01). Possible associations also emerged between MPOD and form of refractive correction, and iris colour. No MPOD associations were found for the other variables examined in the questionnaire. The mean MPOD of the white subject group was 0.33±0.13, which was significantly lower than the Asian group (p<0.0005). Conclusions: This study adds to the currently limited information on MPOD in South Asians, and while a comparison between Asians and Whites was not the main focus here, highly significant differences between these two ethnicities were revealed. This provokes the possibility that South Asian individuals could have a lower risk for AMD, and it warrants further study.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2711-2719
Number of pages9
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Early online date7 Mar 2013
StatePublished - Apr 2013


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