Journal Article

Exposure to <i>Chlamydia pneumoniae</i> Infection and Progression of Age-related Macular Degeneration

Luba Robman, Olaimatu Mahdi, Catherine McCarty, Peter Dimitrov, Gabriella Tikellis, John McNeil, Gerald Byrne, Hugh Taylor and Robyn Guymer

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 161, issue 11, pages 1013-1019
Published in print June 2005 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online June 2005 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI:
Exposure to Chlamydia pneumoniae Infection and Progression of Age-related Macular Degeneration

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Recent studies have found an association between exposure to Chlamydia pneumoniae infection and risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). To assess a potential risk of AMD progression posed by exposure to C. pneumoniae, the authors reexamined Australian residents in 2001–2002 who were aged 51–89 years with early AMD at baseline (1992–1995). Examination included macular photography and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to determine antibody titers to the elementary bodies from C. pneumoniae AR39. AMD progression was assessed quantitatively, using both coarse and fine progression steps following an international classification for AMD grading, and also qualitatively, by side-by-side comparison of baseline and follow-up macular photographs. Serologic data were available for 246 of 254 (97%) subjects. AMD progression was associated with a higher antibody titer. After adjustment for age, smoking, family history of AMD, history of cardiovascular diseases, and source study, the subjects in the upper tertiles of antibody titers were 2.1 (95% confidence interval: 0.92, 4.69), 2.6 (95% confidence interval: 1.24, 5.41), and 3.0 (95% confidence interval: 1.46, 6.37) times more at risk of progression than those in the lowest tertile, using three definitions of progression, respectively. The fact that seroreactivity to C. pneumoniae was independently associated with the risk of AMD progression suggests that C. pneumoniae infection may be an additional risk factor for AMD progression.

Keywords: Chlamydophila pneumoniae; disease progression; infection; macular degeneration; AMD, age-related macular degeneration; VECAT, Vitamin E, Cataract, and Age-related Maculopathy Trial

Journal Article.  3724 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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