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Pot-bellied men at higher risk of developing AMD

University of Melbourne researchers have discovered a link between increased body fat in men and the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The study notes that a small increase in a man’s waist size increases the risk of macular degeneration by as much as 75%! The researchers followed 21,000 men and women between the ages of 40 and 68 for several years and documented how many of them developed macular degeneration. Researchers theorize that the difference between men and women and the link of body fat to macular degeneration is that abdominal fat increases the hormone estrogen in the body. Women’s bodies are used to the high levels of the hormone throughout their lives and thus aren’t as sensitive to it as men. In men, the estrogen causes inflammation of blood vessels including blood vessels in the eyes. Researchers say the study offers proof that chronic inflammation is involved in macular degeneration and obesity is a pro-inflammatory state. This marks obesity as a risk factor of macular degeneration. Men can reduce their macular degeneration risk by as much as 20 percent by eating more fruits, vegetables and nuts.* Elise Ervin Staff Writer

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