Intermittent Fasting Is Associated With a Decreased Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Am J Ophthalmol. 2022 Nov;243:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2022.06.017. Epub 2022 Jul 6.


Purpose: To investigate the association between intermittent fasting and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in the general older adult population.

Design: A cross-sectional study using a population-based, government-led survey data, Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES).

Methods: A total of 4504 individuals aged ≥55 years with comprehensive data including meal frequency and fundus photography were selected using the KNHANES 2015-2018 database. Participants were divided into 2 groups based on breakfast frequency per week; intermittent fasting (nearly 0 time/week) and nonfasting (5-7 times/week) groups. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the risk factors for AMD identified by fundus photography.

Results: AMD was identified in 25.1% of total participants. The intermittent fasting group had a decreased risk of AMD compared with the nonfasting group (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0.413, 95% CI 0.203-0.841), especially in individuals with a younger age (<70 years, aOR 0.357, 95% CI 0.153-0.833), obesity (aOR 0.663, 95% CI 0.424-1.037), and urban residence (aOR 0.437, 95% CI 0.248-0.769). Increased age (aOR 1.058, 95% CI 1.041-1.076) and serum high-density lipoprotein levels (aOR 1.011, 95% CI 1.002-1.021) were also independent risk factors for AMD.

Conclusions: Using the population-based survey data, we demonstrated that intermittent fasting by skipping breakfast was significantly associated with a reduced risk of AMD in a representative older adult population, especially in individuals with age <70 years, obesity, and urban residence.

Keywords: Age-related macular degeneration; Breakfast skipping; Intermittent fasting; Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Fasting*
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • Macular Degeneration* / diagnosis
  • Macular Degeneration* / epidemiology
  • Macular Degeneration* / etiology
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Prevalence


  • Lipoproteins, HDL