Indication: Cataracts/Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Source: Ophthalmology, Vol. 121, Issue 2; 525-534, February 2014
Research: This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was designed to test whether long-term multivitamin supplementation affects the incidence of cataract or age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in a large cohort of men.
A total of 14,641 U.S. male physicians aged ≥50 years received a daily multivitamin or placebo. Main outcome measures included incident cataract and visually significant AMD responsible for a reduction in best-corrected visual acuity to 20/30 or worse based on self-reports confirmed by medical record review.
Results: During an average of 11.2 years of treatment and follow-up, a total of 1,817 cases of cataract and 281 cases of visually significant AMD were confirmed. There were 872 cataracts in the multivitamin group and 945 cataracts in the placebo group (hazard ratio [HR], 0.91; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.83–0.99; P = 0.04). For visually significant AMD, there were 152 cases in the multivitamin group and 129 cases in the placebo group (HR, 1.19; 95% CI, 0.94–1.50; P = 0.15).
According to researchers, data indicate that long-term daily multivitamin use modestly and significantly decreased the risk of cataract but had no significant effect on visually significant AMD.
“If multivitamins really do reduce the risk of cataract, even by a modest 10%, this 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. An estimated 10 million adults in the U.S. have impaired vision due to cataract.