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C.–J. Chiu, R.C. Milton, G. Gensler, A. Taylor; Dietary Carbohydrate Intake and Glycemic Index in Relation to Age–Related Macular Degeneration in the Age–Related Eye Disease Study . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):2194.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Dietary carbohydrates comprise a large proportion of our energy intake. In vitro, animal and one human (1) study indicate that carbohydrate nutrition may increase the risk for age–related macular degeneration (AMD). Our objective was to test whether recent dietary carbohydrate intake or Glycemic Index (GI), a measure of dietary carbohydrate quality, is associated with the presence of AMD in non–diabetic participants in the Age–Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS).
A modified Block food frequency questionnaire was used to obtain dietary information from participants in the AREDS. Eyes (4099 persons; 8125 eyes) were classified into one of five groups according to the size and extent of drusen, presence of geographic atrophy (GA), and neovascular (NV) changes of AMD. Associations were examined using eyes as the unit of analysis and the generalized estimating approach was used to account for the lack of independence between the eyes of an individual.
Compared with eyes in the first quintile of dietary GI, eyes in the fourth and fifth quintiles had significantly or suggestively higher risk for large drusen, GA, and NV. The multivariate–adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) for the highest quintile were 1.39 (1.04, 1.86), 2.39 (1.05, 5.46), and 1.47 (0.97, 2.41), respectively. All trend tests for the three AREDS AMD groups were significant. The risk for advanced AMD (GA and NV) increased over 50% for those with the upper half of dietary GI values. A significant positive relationship between dietary GI and severity of AMD was also noted. No significant associations with total carbohydrate intake were found.
Baseline data from AREDS suggest that dietary GI is associated with prevalent AMD and that the higher dietary GI the higher the risk and severity of AMD. Additional study is needed to assess causality.
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