Skipping breakfast may actually be a good thing for a select population, according to Korean investigators.
New research has found that avoiding this meal is associated with a lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. (AMD).
The investigators, led by Eun Young Choi, MD, from Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea, conducted a cross-sectional study1 using population-based, government-led survey data to analyze the link between intermittent fasting and AMD in a general elderly population.
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Over 4,500 patients from the database were included who were 55 years of age and older and had data that reflected their frequency with which they ate meals as well as available fundus photographs. The investigators identified 4,504 patients between 2015 and 2018.
The subjects then were divided into 2 groups based on how often they ate breakfast during the week; the groups were comprised of individuals who engaged in intermittent fasting defined as nearly 0 time/week and those who did not fast defined as 5 to 7 times/week.
The risk factors for developing AMD seen on fundus photographs were analyzed.
The results showed that a quarter of all patients had AMD.
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The researchers found that the intermittent fasting group had a decreased risk of AMD compared to the non-fasting group and this was especially true in subjects younger than 70 years, those who were obese, and those who lived in cities.
They also reported that increased age and serum high density lipoprotein levels also were independent risk factors for development of AMD.
“We demonstrated that intermittent fasting by skipping breakfast was significantly associated with a reduced risk of AMD in a representative elderly population, especially in individuals with age less than 70 years, obesity, and urban residence,” Choi and colleagues stated.
1. Choi EY, Kim M, Lee CS, et al. Intermittent fasting is associated with a decreased risk of age-related macular degeneration. Am J Ophthalmol. 2022 Jul 6;S0002-9394(22)00255-0. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2022.06.017