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Western Diet Linked to Late Age-Related Macular Degeneration

No significant association found between dietary pattern and incidence of any AMD, early AMD

FRIDAY, Dec. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Consumption of a Western dietary pattern is associated with an increased likelihood of developing late age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a study published online Dec. 6 in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

Shruti Dighe, from the State University of New York in Buffalo, and colleagues examined the correlation for dietary patterns and food groups with the incidence of AMD during 18 years. Incident AMD was determined using retinal photographs taken at visits 3 and 5 among participants from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study (any AMD, 144; early AMD, 117; and late AMD, 27).

The researchers identified Western (unhealthy) and Prudent (healthy) dietary patterns. There was no significant association between either dietary pattern and incidence of any AMD or incidence of early AMD. The incidence of late AMD was increased for participants with a Western dietary pattern score above versus below the median (odds ratio, 3.44; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.33 to 8.87; P trend = 0.014). Among participants with a Prudent dietary pattern score above versus below the median, the risk for developing late AMD was decreased, although not significantly (odds ratio, 0.51; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.22 to 1.18; P trend, = 0.054).

“We believe that these results, along with the current knowledge regarding chronic disease prevention and findings from the literature, will aid in making recommendations regarding a vision-healthy diet inclusive of plant foods and limited in processed meats, red meats, foods rich in saturated fats, simple sugars, and refined grains,” the authors write.

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