Many Americans at high risk of vision loss do not have access to eye care

(AMD), a condition in which the part of the retina responsible for sharp vision begins to deteriorate. After an average of 10 years of follow-up, women who had the highest levels of these three markers in their blood were most likely to develop AMD. "Further study of the interrelationships of genetic predisposition with these factors and the possible clinical utility of the measurement of inflammatory biomarkers such as high-sensitivity C-reactive protein in the setting of AMD should be considered," the authors conclude.

In another report of a clinical trial involving 22,071 healthy U.S. male physicians age 40 to 84, taking beta carotene supplements had no effect on the risk of age-related maculopathy (ARM), diseases of the retina that include macular degeneration. William G. Christen, Sc.D., also of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, and colleagues analyzed data from a clinical trial in which about half the men were randomly assigned to take 50 milligrams of beta carotene every other day and the other half to take placebo. After 12 years of follow-up, there were 162 cases of ARM among those taking beta carotene and 170 cases in the placebo group. According to the authors, these findings, together with other recent discoveries, will help in "clarifying the effects of individual antioxidant supplements and other nutrient combinations and should help endure rational clinical and public health recommendations for the prevention of ARM."


Contact: Rachel Ciccarone
JAMA and Archives Journals

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