Lipid metabolism may be involved in the pathogenic mechanism of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). However, conflicting results have been reported in the associations of AMD with blood lipids. We performed a meta-analysis including a total of 19 studies to evaluate associations between blood lipids and this disease. The result reported that the high level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) obtained with an increment of 1 mmol/L could result in a significantly increase in the AMD risk of approximately 18% (relative risk (RR), 1.18; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.01 to 1.35; I2
= 53.8%; p
= 0.007). High levels of total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and triglycerides (TG) were significantly associated with a decreased risk of AMD (RRs ranging from 0.92 to 0.95; all p
< 0.05). The stratified analysis based on AMD subtypes showed that these blood lipids were only significantly associated with the risk of early AMD (all p
< 0.05). The association between the blood lipids and AMD risk did not differ substantially based on the other characteristics of the participants. A high HDL-C level was associated with an increased AMD risk, whereas participants with high TC, LDL-C, and TG concentrations may show a decreased risk for this disease. Further well-designed large studies are warranted to confirm the conclusions.
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