Researchers did this study to evaluate dietary consumption associations with the 10-year incidence of DR progression in working-aged Australians with diabetes.

Researchers obtained longitudinal data of all diabetic subjects aged 45–65 years from the baseline of the 45 and Up Study. They linked this data with the MBS and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme claims until 2016. Researchers assessed dietary measurements via self-reported consumption of meat, dairy products, wholemeal bread, breakfast cereal, vegetables, fruit, and fruit juice using a self-administered questionnaire at baseline.

Researchers included a total of 8122 participants in the current analysis, with a mean age of 57.2±5.2 years. During a mean follow-up of 8.6 years, 314 participants received RPC. Higher consumption of cheese and wholemeal bread was associated with a lower risk of incident RPC, with the HRs of the highest quartiles versus the most inferior being 0.58 and 0.64, respectively. Body mass index, insulin treatment, and gender were significant modifiers for the association between cheese/whole-meal bread and RPC.

The study concluded that cheese and wholemeal bread consumption could reduce DR progression among the working-aged Australian population with diabetes.