Sex Hormones Thought to Affect Macular Degeneration


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It’s been thought that that age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is linked to gender. 

Findings from a new study support that link, showing that fluctuations in sex steroids can affect epithelial cells, which play a role in AMD, in men.

The link between AMD and gender has historically been associated with women, due to the effects that hormones estradiol and progesterone have on retinal-pigment epithelial cells (RPEs). But with more research showing that these hormones play a role in men’s health as well, researchers wanted to know if being a man could be considered a risk factor for developing AMD.

Based on these findings, Mina Massaro-Giordano, MD, a co-author of the study, suggests that clinicians who treat AMD should consider gender-related factors. The findings may also have implications for transgender patients who seek sex reassignment, due to the practice of administering sex hormones for a significant period of time.


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