Dietary patterns and their associations with age-related macular degeneration: the Melbourne collaborative cohort study

Ophthalmology. 2014 Jul;121(7):1428-1434.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2014.01.002. Epub 2014 Feb 20.


Objective: To evaluate the association between dietary patterns and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Design: Food frequency data were collected from Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study (MCCS) participants at the baseline study in 1990-1994. During follow-up in 2003-2007, retinal photographs were taken and evaluated for AMD.

Participants: At baseline, 41514 participants aged 40 to 70 years and born in Australia or New Zealand (69%), or who had migrated from the United Kingdom, Italy, Greece, or Malta (31%) were recruited. Of these, 21132 were assessed for AMD prevalence at follow-up.

Methods: Principal component analysis was used to identify dietary patterns (Factors F1-6) among the food items. Logistic regression was used to assess associations of dietary patterns with AMD.

Main outcome measures: Odds ratios (ORs) for early stages and advanced AMD in association with dietary patterns.

Results: A total of 2508 participants (12.8%) had early stages of AMD, and 108 participants (0.6%) had advanced AMD. Six factors characterized by predominant intakes of fruits (F1); vegetables (F2); grains, fish, steamed or boiled chicken, vegetables, and nuts (F3); red meat (F4); processed foods comprising cakes, sweet biscuits, and desserts (F5); and salad (F6) were identified. Higher F3 scores were associated with a lower prevalence of advanced AMD (fourth vs. first quartile) (OR, 0.49; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.28-0.87), whereas F4 scores greater than the median were associated with a higher prevalence of advanced AMD (OR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.0-2.17).

Conclusions: Rather than specific individual food items, these factors represent a broader picture of food consumption. A dietary pattern high in fruits, vegetables, chicken, and nuts and a pattern low in red meat seems to be associated with a lower prevalence of advanced AMD. No particular food pattern seemed to be associated with the prevalence of the earliest stages of AMD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Constitution
  • Diet Records
  • Diet*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Victoria / epidemiology