A posteriori-derived dietary patterns and retinal vessel caliber in an elderly population

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose. To examine the association between a posteriori–derived dietary patterns (DP) and retinal vessel caliber in an elderly population.

Methods. This was a cross-sectional study of 288 elderly adults (>65 years) who participated in the European Eye study (EUREYE) Northern Irish cohort. DP were extracted using principal component analysis from completed food frequency questionnaires. Semi-automated computer grading was used to determine the mean retinal vessel diameters (central retinal arteriole equivalent [CRAE] and central retinal venule equivalent [CRVE]) from digitized visual field one images using a standard measurement protocol.

Results. Three major DP were identified in this population, which accounted for 21% of the total variance: a “healthy” pattern with high factor loadings for oily fish, fruits and vegetables, and olive oil; an “unhealthy” pattern with high factor loadings for red and processed meat, refined grains, eggs, butter, sugar and sweets; and a “snack and beverage” pattern with high factor loading for pizza, nuts, and coffee. Multivariable linear regression analysis indicated no significant association between major identified DP and mean CRAE or CRVE in all models.

Conclusions. This is the first study to investigate associations between a posteriori–derived DP and retinal vessel caliber. There was no evidence of a relationship between extracted DP and retinal vessel measurements in this population. However, it is possible that potentially important relationships exist between single nutrients or foods and vessel diameters that cannot be identified using a DP approach. Further studies to examine the role of dietary factors in the microcirculation are required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1337-1344
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number2
Early online date15 Jan 2013
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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