View Full Version : Red Meat Linked To Blindness in Old Age.

Darryl Shaw
03-21-2009, 05:41 AM
A new study from Australia suggests that eating lots of red meat is linked to a higher risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness in old age.

The study was the work of first author Dr Elaine Chong, who is from the Centre for Eye Research Australia based at the University of Melbourne, and colleagues, and is published on 1 April in the advance access issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Chong and colleagues found that compared to those who ate it less than five times a week, people who ate red meat 10 times a week were nearly 50 per cent more likely to develop AMD in old age.

However, they also found that people who ate chicken at least three times a week were 50 per cent less likely to develop the condition.


Red Meat and Chicken Consumption and Its Association With Age-related Macular Degeneration.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness among older people, and diet has been postulated to alter risk of AMD. To evaluate associations between red meat and chicken intake and AMD, the authors conducted a cohort study of 6,734 persons aged 5869 years in 19901994 in Melbourne, Australia. Meat intake was estimated from a food frequency questionnaire at baseline. At follow-up (20032006), bilateral digital macular photographs were taken and evaluated for AMD (1,680 cases of early AMD, 77 cases of late AMD). Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios, adjusted for age, smoking, and other potential confounders. Higher red meat intake was positively associated with early AMD; the odds ratio for consumption of red meat 10 times/week versus <5 times/week was 1.47 (95% confidence interval: 1.21, 1.79; P-trend < 0.001). Similar trends toward increasing prevalence of early AMD were seen with higher intakes of fresh and processed red meat. Conversely, consumption of chicken 3.5 times/week versus <1.5 times/week was inversely associated with late AMD (odds ratio = 0.43, 95% confidence interval: 0.20, 0.91; P-trend = 0.007). These results suggest that different meats may differently affect AMD risk and may be a target for lifestyle modification.


Allowing for all the possible confounding factors my first thoughts are that chicken has a lower iron content than red meat and a reduced iron intake might mean there's a lower risk of oxidative damge to the eye.

Thoughts anyone?

Garrett Smith
03-21-2009, 06:27 AM
The iron would seem to be a potential factor, I agree.

Eating red meat 10x/week seems like a lot to me, I'd guess I eat it ~5x/week on average.

Mike ODonnell
03-21-2009, 09:46 AM
another good reason to just rotate your meat sources (fish, lamb, chicken, beef, eggs)....and not be dependent on just one....

Dave Van Skike
03-21-2009, 04:49 PM
red meat is also closely associated with awesome.

I have done several studies in which beef specifically was linked with totally diesel.

Arien Malec
03-21-2009, 06:21 PM
red meat is also closely associated with awesome.

Nice. I'd note that the world is littered with studies that correlate red meat with X (where X is bad), but where that correlation does not survive further study.

Now, to eat some grassfed hamburger.

George Mounce
03-21-2009, 06:43 PM
I just ate an 18oz ribeye...and I can't see what I'm typing. :cool:

Matthew Bacorn
03-21-2009, 11:08 PM
So you're telling me if I keep eating beef I get to have a seeing eye dog? It's a win-win

Mike ODonnell
03-22-2009, 09:44 AM
in a correlating study....excess vegetarianism leads to less chances of getting laid....