June 2015
Volume 56, Issue 7
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2015
National Estimates of Eye Vitamin Use Among Those At Risk of End Stage Macular Degeneration
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mark W Swanson
    Optometry, Univ of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Mark Swanson, None
  • Footnotes
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Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2015, Vol.56, 3785. doi:
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      Mark W Swanson; National Estimates of Eye Vitamin Use Among Those At Risk of End Stage Macular Degeneration. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(7 ):3785.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose: The landmark AREDS study first published in 2001 showed a 28% five year and 34% ten year reduced risk of developing end stage wet macular degeneration(ARM).Small clinical studies have shown a less than 40% utilization of AREDS formula vitamins among those who might benefit. Evaluations of clinical trial results have shown that it may take as much as 10 years or more for the results of clinical trials to be implemented into clinical practice. This study estimates utilization of eye vitamins for macular degeneration in the US population seven years after the publication of the AREDS results.

Methods: Data from the 2007-2008 NHANES were used. During the home health interview 8285 subjects were asked about vitamin supplement use, including vitamins for “eye health”. Additionally, for each supplement used subjects were asked if it had been recommended by a physician. As part of the NHANES medical examination fundus photography (n=3863) was done for a subset of participants over the age of 40. An ARM variable was created that graded disease into categories of benefiting from vitamins or not benefitting based on AREDS criteria. Associations between vitamins used for eye health and ARM were evaluated.

Results: For adults over the age of 40, 4.7% ( 95% CI 3.8, 5.6) of a representative sample of the US population were using vitamins for eye health. Among those at risk of end stage macular degeneration fitting the AREDS study criteria for benefit only 16.6% (95% CI 11.7, 21.4) were using vitamins. Among those with gradable photos 60.7% (95%CI 48.9, 72.5) of those using vitamins had ARM not consistent with a category that would benefit from use. Approximately one-third 35.6%(95% CI 18. 1, 53.0) of these users indicated that those vitamins had been recommended by a physician.,

Conclusions: As of 2008 most adults with ARM at risk of end stage disease who could benefit were not using vitamins for eye health. The data supports smaller studies suggesting that eye vitamin use in those at risk for end stage ARM is not adequate. Confusion among providers as to when to recommend vitamins appeared to have been common during this period.<br /> <br />


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