Age-related macular degeneration: image via lighthouse.org Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is now the most common cause of acquired blindness. An important study conducted by researchers at the University of Melbourne indicate that like heart disease, AMD may be affected by where you carry your weight.
The researchers followed 21,000 men and women between 40 and 69 years of age for several years. tracking how many of them developed AMD. They reported last year that the kinds of food, such as red meat and fatty foods, have a direct relationship to the development of AMD later in life. The latest report reveals that even small increases in a man's waist size can raise the risk of AMD by as much as 75 percent.
Why the difference between men and women? The researchers believe it is because abdominal fat increases the hormone oestrogen into the body. Because women's bodies are accustomed to high levels of the hormone most of their lives, they are not as sensitive to it as men, for whom the oestragen causes inflammation of the blood vessels, all the way to the back of the eyes.
There is evidence that chronic inflammation is involved in AMD and obesity is a pro-inflammatory state," said the scientists. "Our study underlines the importance of abdominal obesity as a risk factor for AMD.
Research by a British team recently suggested that eating more fruits, vegetables, and nuts could reduce AMD risk by as much as 20 percent.