First study on lactation and maternal AMD shows correlation between longer period of breast-feeding and a lower incidence of the disease

Research results published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology (Erke et al, 2013; 97:1036-1039) suggest a significant relationship between the duration of lactation and the frequency of maternal late AMD. The study, run by the University Hospital of North Norway and the University of Tromso, conducted the research on a sample of 1,512 women, 3.2% of whom had late AMD and a further 25% with large drusen >125um. The report showed that the length of breast-feeding per child was significantly associated with the incidence of late AMD (odds ratio (OR) per month was 0.80, 95% CI 0.68 to 0.94) in multivariate regression analysis. Women who had breast fed all of their children for at least 6 months appeared to have significantly lower odds for late AMD. Given the economic burden of AMD and its increasing incidence in an ageing population, the detection of modifiable risk factors represents an important component in understanding and projecting future healthcare needs.