Exercise () and Choroidal Neovascularization


In a long term Australian study 1990 to 1994 initial data was collected from almost 21,000 participants and graded according to the vigor of the exercise - e.g., walking, vigorous and non-vigorous exercise. Fifteen years later, from 2003 to 2007, retinal photographs were taken of the participants and were graded according to early, intermediate or advanced macular degeneration (choroidal neovascularization). The data was also adjusted according to the participants' age, gender, smoking habits, ethnic heritage, diet and alcohol use.

Exercise was associated with lower odds of intermediate and advanced AMD. After controlling for factors that could bias the results, there was evidence of improvement (related to gender). Frequent vigorous exercise was associated with a 22% decrease in the odds of intermediate AMD (95% CI 4% to 36%) in women, but no association was found for men. They concluded that further research will be helpful.

Researchers: M.B. McGuinness, et al,
Past physical activity and age-related macular degeneration: the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study, British Journal of Ophthalogy, October, 2016.


Over a period of 15 years, researchers evaluated the visual health of nearly 4,000 participants. The study began in 1988-1990 and the participants were evaluated every five years.

Incidence of early, intermediate and advanced forms of AMD were determined by use of color photos of the retina. Physical activity during the 15 year period was assessed by self-reporting in questionnaires.

The researchers adjusted the data for age, gender, arthritis history, blood pressure, BMI, smoking habits and education. They found that people with an active lifestyle, with regular activity at least three times a week were less likely to develop the advanced form of macular degeneration, wet AMD. They did not find that physical activity levels were associated with the less severe forms of the condition.

Researchers: M.D. Knudtson, et al,
Published: Physical activity and the 15-year cumulative incidence of age-related macular degeneration: the Beaver Dam Eye Study, British Journal of Ophthalomogy, December, 2006.