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S. Piermarocchi, T. Segato, A. Turrini, T. Peto, S. Ceca, P. Scopa; Dietary Habits and Age-Related Macular Degeneration in a European Population. The PAMDI Study , FFQ Report. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):276.
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To compare the relationship of the dietary habits with age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) between an urban and a rural population in the North-East of Italy.
824 subjects over 60 years, representing a population of 50000 healthy individuals, were examined to determine ARMD prevalence in an urban and a rural population in the North-East of Italy. Nutrient intake was also estimated by means of a certified self-administered food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Foods listed in the questionnaire were grouped into 4 classes depending on their presumed role in ARMD pathogenesis: (i) protective, (ii) at risk, (iii) neutral and (iv) lutein sources. Intake frequency scores for each class were then calculated and correlated with the ARMD prevalence.
A high protective food intake was associated to a lower ARMD prevalence (OR 0.977; 95% CI 0.95-0.99), while higher intake of risk foods was associated to increased ARMD prevalence (OR 1.008; 95% CI 1.003-1.01). Rural area inhabitants resulted to have a higher prevalence of ARMD lesions than urban inhabitants (p < 0.0001). This was associated to an increased intake of risk foods in the rural area (p < 0.0001).
This study did not confirm the current hypothesis that, in the studied area, rural population has higher quality dietary habits than urban people. Also, higher intake of foods considered at risk for association to ARMD shows a significant trend towards an increased prevalence of the disease. This may explain why rural subjects are more frequently affected by the disease.
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