Physical Activity Lowers Risk of Macular Degeneration

The risk of developing macular degeneration has been showed to be decreased through vigorous physical activity such as running.  In a study published in the journal of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, it was shown that both men and women who developed macular degeneration ran for exercise considerably less than those were unaffected by macular degeneration.

As part of the study into the impacts of running on macular degeneration, 29,532 men and 12,176 women were followed over a period of 7.7 years.  During this period of time, 110 men and 42 women reported being diagnosed with macular degeneration.

Those women and men who developed macular degeneration ran for exercise much less than those who remained unaffected by the eye disease.  When the results of the study were adjusted to account for age, sex, diet and smoking history, it was shown that the relative risk of macular degeneration decreased by approximately 10 percent per kilometer per day.  Those patients who averaged less than 2 – 4 kilomters per day had a 19 percent lower risk of macular degeneration and those averaging 4 kilomters a day had a 42 – 54 percent lower risk to develop macular degeneration.

As a result of these findings, the authors concluded that vigorous exercise such as running is associated with a lower incidence of macular generation.  These findings were independent of weight, cardiorespiratory fitness and smoking.