Research informs our recommendations on diet, lifestyle
Professor Paul Mitchell is a world-renowned medical retinal specialist who was a worthy recipient of the Order of Australia in 2018.
That accolade is deserved recognition of his immense contribution to the fields of public health, ophthalmic epidemiology and clinical research. His daily work at Sydney’s Westmead Hospital and Sydney West Retina practice has saved the sight of countless thousands of Australians.
MDFA’s National Research Advisor and a member of our Medical Committee since our establishment in 2001.
Prof Mitchell was also awarded one of MDFA’s inaugural Research Grants a decade ago. He received $294,000 over three years in 2011.
MDFA funding allowed Prof Mitchell to build upon his landmark Blue Mountains Eye Study (BMES), Australia’s first large population-based study of AMD when it commenced in 1992.
The BMES is globally recognised as one of the most significant ophthalmic epidemiology studies ever conducted, yielding over 500 peer-reviewed publications in the world’s top journals.
Prof Mitchell’s MDFA project compared the diet and lifestyle of people with late-stage AMD to a similar-aged population with healthy eyes to better understand the modifiable risk factors for the condition. The results confirmed many of the findings from the BMES.
Prof Mitchell’s research continues to inform MDFA’s recommendations for the simple lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of AMD such as quitting smoking and changing your diet to include more oily fish and leafy green vegetables.
One member of Prof Mitchell’s team, Prof Bamini Gopinath, has advanced this research with subsequent MDFA grants.
This article was first published in our booklet: 10 Years of Research: Reflecting on the impact of investing into macular disease research.
Posted: May 2021