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With AMD, you are what you eat

Howard Larkin

Posted: Sunday, October 13, 2019

Richard K Parrish II MD, presents Jackson Memorial Lecture Award to Emily Chew MD.

Eating a Mediterranean diet, particularly a lot of fish, may be beneficial for those with early or even intermediate age-related macular degeneration, said Emily Y Chew MD in her Jackson Memorial Lecture to the opening session of AAO 2019 in San Francisco, USA.
Research shows that a diet high in fish can reduce the chances of developing AMD by 65 per cent for patients who also have protective genes, Dr Chew said. In the general AMD population studied, a high fish diet reduced progression of AMD by 31 per cent, while high adherence to a Mediterranean diet reduced progression to late AMD by 25 to 40 per cent.
“It’s never too late to start,” said Dr Chew, of the US National Eye Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
The findings are based on data from the landmark AREDS and AREDS2 studies, genetic tests, and analysis of patient records and retinal images of patients followed for up to two decades. And while genetic tests have identified genes associated with up to a seven-fold increase in risk of AMD development and progression, the tests have less predictive power than clinical assessments and risk scores, Dr Chew said.