Overall diet quality and age-related macular degeneration

Martha P. Montgomery, Freya Kamel, Margaret A. Pericak-Vance, Jonathan L. Haines, Eric A. Postel, Anita Agarwal, Marie Richards, William K. Scott, Silke Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Purpose: To examine overall diet quality in relation to advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Methods: This case-control study identified 437 advanced AMD patients and 259 unrelated controls using stereoscopic color fundus photographs. Participants were predominantly non-Hispanic White men and women from North Carolina and Tennessee. A 97-item Block food frequency questionnaire was used to gather diet information, and overall diet quality was measured using the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) and Alternate Healthy Eating Index (AHEI). Results: Participants in the highest quartile of diet quality had significantly reduced odds of AMD according to the AHEI score (0.54, 95% confidence interval 0.30-0.99) and non-significantly reduced odds of AMD according to the HEI (0.75, 0.41-1.38). Odds of AMD were also 51% lower in the highest quartile of fish intake compared to the lowest quartile (odds ratio 0.49, 0.26-0.90). Conclusions: We found that advanced AMD was significantly related to overall diet quality. The AHEI score may be a useful instrument for assessing AMD risk due to diet, and it could potentially be improved by incorporating more specific information regarding micronutrient intake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-65
Number of pages8
JournalOphthalmic Epidemiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2010


  • AHEI alternate healthy eating index
  • AMD age-related macular degeneration
  • HEI healthy eating index

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Epidemiology


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