Researchers recently found that while dietary patterns were not significantly associated with early AMD, a Western diet may be a risk factor for late development.

Of the retinal photographs that showed a change in AMD between patient visits, 144 were graded as AMD, 117 of which were early AMD and 27 were late AMD. A 66-line food frequency questionnaire helped identify 29 food groups and Western (unhealthy) and prudent (healthy) dietary patterns.

The team did not observe any significant associations between either dietary pattern and AMD of any stage or early AMD. However, they discovered a threefold higher incidence of late AMD among patients with a Western pattern score higher than the median. They noted that the risk of developing late AMD was not as high in participants with a prudent pattern score above the median.

Dighe S, Zhao J, Steffen L, et al. Diet patterns and the incidence of age-related macular degeneration in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. Br J Ophthalmol. December 6, 2019. [Epub ahead of print].