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Western Pattern Diet May Increase Risk of Late-Stage Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Western Pattern Diet May Increase Risk of Late-Stage Age-Related Macular Degeneration

The Western pattern diet is a dietary pattern that is generally characterized by high intakes of red meat, processed meat, pre-packaged foods, butter, fried foods, high-fat dairy products, eggs, refined grains, potatoes, corn (and high-fructose corn syrup), and high-sugar drinks. A recent study has found that following a Western pattern diet may increase the risk of developing late-stage age-related macular degeneration(AMD) threefold.

The researchers used data fom participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities who developed early or late-stage AMD during an 18-year followup period. During the follow-up period, paticipants reported consumption of 66 different foods. Based on their consumption patterns, they were categorized as following a Western pattern diet or a Prudent pattern diet. The Prudent diet is characterized by a high intake of vegetables, fruit, legumes, whole grains, and fish and other seafood.

The researchers found that participants who mainly followed the Western pattern diet had a three times higher risk of developing late-stage AMD, compared to those who mainly followed the Prudent diet. No association was found between diet and development of early AMD.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Buffalo. It was published online ahead of print on December 6, 2019 in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

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