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'Good' cholesterol levels and gene variant may increase risk of AMD

While the connection is not fully understood, researchers have found a link between a gene variant and levels of? 'good' cholesterol and the increased risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The study which is in the April 16 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,points to a combination of genes and environment being the causal factors in developing AMD. One of these factors alone cannot cause the disease. Researchers are unsure if high levels of high- density lipoprotein in the blood increases the risk of developing AMD or if it might be how the body transports nutrients in the blood. Researchers don't think that there is a direct relationship between the gene variant causing the the higher cholesterol levels and increasing the risk of AMD. It is hoped that the strong evidence pointing to a genetic factor will lead to more exploration of that link.* Andrea Schumann Staff Writer

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