Mediterranean diet and incidence of advanced AMD: The EYE-RISK CONSORTIUM

Mediterranean diet beneficial for AMD prevention

In the recently published study in Ophthalmology [10.1016/j.ophtha.2018.08.006] researchers of the EYE-RISK consortium find a 41% reduced risk of developing advanced AMD in subjects adhering to a diet rich in healthful nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and fish.

Epidemiological studies have observed a reduced risk of AMD associated with high consumption of antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin provided by fruits and vegetables and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, provided by fish and nuts. However a single nutrient/food approach cannot capture the synergistic effects of food and nutrients consumed in combination in the diet. The Mediterranean diet, traditionally observed in countries bordering the Mediterranean sea, is characterized by high consumption of plant foods and fish, low consumption of meat and dairy products, olive oil as the primary fat source and a moderate consumption of wine.

Our objective was to investigate the associations of adherence to the Mediterranean diet with the incidence of advanced AMD using the Eye-Risk database. We included 4 446 participants aged ≥55 years from the prospective cohort Rotterdam Study (The Netherlands) and 550 French adults aged 73 years or older from the longitudinal population-based study Alienor Study.

Subjects from Rotterdam Study and Alienor Study who were highly adherent to the Mediterranean diet had a 41% reduced risk of developing advanced AMD. These findings support the role of a diet rich in healthful nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and fish in the prevention of AMD.