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B. S. Hochstetler, I. U. Scott, A. R. Kunselman, K. Thompson, E. Zerfoss; Adherence to Recommendations of the Age-Related Eye Disease Study in Patients With Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):721.
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To determine the rate of adherence to the recommendations of the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) regarding vitamin supplement usage among patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) at a tertiary retina center and to identify factors associated with adherence and non-adherence.
Consecutive patients with a history of AMD were administered a survey (by investigators masked to clinical findings) designed to assess use or non-use of vitamin supplementation as well as factors influencing utilization patterns. A retina specialist, masked to survey results, performed dilated funduscopic examinations and categorized patients’ AMD severity according to the AREDS classification system.
Sixty-four consecutive patients with AMD completed the survey. Sixty-three percent of patients met AREDS criteria for vitamin supplementation. Of those patients who met criteria, only 43% reported taking AREDS vitamins in the recommended dosages. Among patients using AREDS vitamins as recommended, 100% were return patients to the tertiary retina center and reported a retina specialist as the primary recommendation source for supplement use. Of patients who met AREDS criteria for vitamin supplementation but were not taking vitamins as per AREDS recommendations, 82% were new patients to the retina service and 75% reported that vitamin supplementation had never been recommended to them. Other reasons reported for non-use were taking another multivitamin (8%), lack of confidence in supplement benefit (8%), and advice of primary medical doctor against use (8%).
Patients with intermediate and advanced AMD in at least one eye demonstrate a low adherence rate to the AREDS recommendations for vitamin supplementation. The results of the current study underscore the need for increased awareness in the general ophthalmology community and among patients with AMD regarding the proven benefit of AREDS-recommended vitamin supplement use for patients with intermediate and advanced AMD in at least one eye.
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