Devan Kansagara, M.D., M.C.R.
Evidence-based Synthesis Program (ESP) Center
Portland VA Medical Center
Washington (DC): Department of Veterans Affairs; January 2012
Download PDF: Complete Report, Executive Summary, Report, Appendices
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in the developed world. In 2004, AMD affected 1.75 million persons in the United States, a number that is expected to rise to nearly 3 million by 2020 due to the aging of the population.
The severity of macular degeneration ranges from Category 1 (least severe) to Category 4 (most severe), and ï¿½advanced AMDï¿½ is defined as having geographic atrophy involving the center of the macula or features of choroidal neovascularization.
Observational studies suggest that people with dietary intakes higher in various carotenoids, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids have a lower risk of developing AMD. This has led to several supplementation trials designed to examine the ability of nutritional supplement with carotenoids, antioxidants, or omega-3 fatty acids to prevent the progression of AMD.
Our report focuses on the evidence documenting the potential benefits and harms of certain dietary supplements in patients with AMD. We conducted a systematic review of published literature to address the following key questions:
A Synthesis of the Evidence: Nutritional Supplements for Age-Related Macular Degeneration, (VA HSR&D Management e-Brief)