Outdoor Artificial Light at Night Tied to New Exudative AMD

Association found to be stronger with higher levels of exposure, but only significant in urban areas
Outdoor Artificial Light at Night Tied to New Exudative AMD
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

THURSDAY, Jan. 18, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Higher levels of residential outdoor artificial light at night (OALAN) are associated with an increased risk for incident exudative age-related macular degeneration (EAMD), according to a study published online Jan. 16 in JAMA Network Open.

Su Hwan Kim, Ph.D., from Seoul National University Hospital in South Korea, and colleagues examined the association between exposure to OALAN and the risk for incident EAMD. The analysis included 4,078 individuals (aged 50 years and older) with newly diagnosed EAMD (2010 through 2011) and matched controls (1:30).

The researchers found that in fully adjusted models, an interquartile range (IRQ; 55.8 nW/cm2/sr) increase in OALAN level was associated with a higher risk for incident EAMD (hazard ratio [HR], 1.67; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.56 to 1.78). The exposure-response curve showed a nonlinear, concave upward slope, which became more pronounced at higher levels of light exposure (at approximately 110 nW/cm2/sr). In urban areas, an interquartile range increase in OALAN was associated with an increased risk for incident EAMD (HR, 1.46; 95 percent CI, 1.33 to 1.61), but this finding was not seen in rural areas (HR, 1.01; 95 percent CI, 0.84 to 1.22).

"Further studies incorporating comprehensive information on exposure, individual adaptive behaviors, and potential mediators are recommended to deepen our understanding in this area," the authors write.

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