Dietary glycemic index and the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
BACKGROUND: Dietary factors are known risk factors for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) -- the leading cause of visual loss among persons aged > or =65 y. High-glycemic-index diets have been hypothesized as a risk factor for AMD, but prospective data are unavailable. OBJECTIVE: The objective was to examine the association between dietary glycemic index and the 10-y incidence of AMD in the Blue Mountain Eye Study population. DESIGN: This was a population-based cohort study with 3,654 participants (> or =49 y) examined at baseline (1992-1994); 2,335 patients were reexamined after 5 y and 1952 after 10 y. The Wisconsin System was used to grade 10-y incident early and late AMD from retinal photographs. A food-frequency questionnaire was used to collect dietary information at baseline, and an Australian database was used to calculate the mean glycemic index. RESULTS: Over 10 y, 208 of 1,810 persons (cumulative incidence: 14.1%) developed early AMD. After age, smoking, other risk factors, and dietary constituents were adjusted for, a higher mean dietary glycemic index was associated with an increased 10-y risk of early AMD in a comparison of quartiles 1 and 4 [relative risk (RR): 1.77; 95% CI: 1.13, 2.78; P for trend = 0.03]. Conversely, a greater consumption of cereal fiber (RR: 0.68; 95% CI: 0.44, 1.04; P for trend = 0.05) and breads and cereals (predominantly lower glycemic index foods such as oatmeal) (RR: 0.67; 95% CI: 0.44, 1.02; P for trend = 0.03) was associated with a reduced risk of incident early AMD. No relation was observed with late AMD. CONCLUSIONS: A high-glycemic-index diet is a risk factor for early AMD -- the recognized precursor of sight-threatening late AMD. Low-glycemic-index foods such as oatmeal may protect against early AMD.
Kaushik, S; Wang, JJ; Flood, V; Tan, JSL; Barclay, AW; Wong, TY; Brand-Miller, J; Mitchell, P
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