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Long-term daily multivitamin supplement use decreases cataract risk in men
Date:2/20/2014

rather small reduction would nonetheless have a large public health impact," said William Christen, ScD, the study's lead author and researcher from Harvard Medical School.

In terms of AMD risk, the researchers found there were 152 new cases of visually significant (best corrected visual acuity of 20/30 or worse) AMD in the multivitamin group compared to 129 in the placebo group, but the difference was not statistically significant. While this finding may seem to contradict results of other studies, such as Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), the researchers note that the studies had different nutrient supplements, dosing and objectives. AREDS included daily zinc and a high-dose antioxidant combination of vitamin E, vitamin C and beta carotene, whereas the multivitamin in PHS II included these nutrients and many others. All the nutrients were provided to the PHSII participants at the U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowance dose levels, which are much lower than the AREDS supplements. Furthermore, the objective in AREDS was to prevent AMD progression among persons who already had the disease, whereas the objective of PHS II was to prevent new cases of AMD, and thus persons with a diagnosis of AMD at baseline were not included.

"This finding of more cases of AMD in the multivitamin group than in the placebo group, although not statistically significant, does raise some concerns," added Dr. Christen. "Clearly, this finding needs to be examined further in other trials of multivitamin supplements in both men and women."

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends the use of antioxidant vitamin and mineral supplements as recommended in the AREDS reports, including high daily doses of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc and copper only for patients who have intermediate or advanced AMD. Patients are advised to contact their ophthalmologist to learn if these supplements are appropriate for them. Some people should not take large doses of
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Contact: Media Relations
media@aao.org
415-561-8534
American Academy of Ophthalmology
Source:Eurekalert

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