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European survey on the opinion and use of micronutrition in age-related macular degeneration: 10 years on from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study

Authors Aslam T, Delcourt C, Holz F, García-Layana A, Leys A, Silva R, Souied E, Stolz J

Received 11 March 2014

Accepted for publication 1 May 2014

Published 10 October 2014 Volume 2014:8 Pages 2045—2053

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S63937

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2


Tariq Aslam,1 Cécile Delcourt,2 Frank Holz,3 Alfredo García-Layana,4 Anita Leys,5 Rufino M Silva,6 Eric Souied7

1Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, Manchester, UK; 2University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France; 3University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany; 4Clínica Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain; 5University Hospitals, Leuven, Belgium; 6University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal; 7Université Paris Est Créteil, Créteil, France

Purpose: To evaluate ophthalmologists’ opinion of, and use of, micronutritional dietary supplements 10 years after publication of the first Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) study.
Methods: Participation was solicited from 4,000 European ophthalmologists. Responding physicians were screened, and those treating at least 40 patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) per month and prescribing nutrition supplements at least 4 times per month were admitted and completed a 40-item questionnaire.
Results: The surveyed sample included 112 general ophthalmologists and 104 retinal specialists. Most nutritional supplements (46%) were initiated when early/intermediate AMD was confirmed, although 18% were initiated on confirmation of neovascular AMD. Clinical studies were well known: 90% were aware of AREDS, with 88% aware of AREDS1 and 36% aware of the, as-yet-unpublished, AREDS2 studies. Respondents considered lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, omega-3, and vitamins to be the most important components of nutritional supplements, with the results of AREDS2 already having been taken into consideration by many. Ophthalmologists anticipate more scientific studies as well as improved product quality but identify cost as a barrier to wider uptake.
Conclusion: Micronutrition is now part of the routine management of AMD for many ophthalmologists. Ophthalmologists choosing to use nutritional supplements are well-informed regarding current scientific studies.

Keywords: age-related macular degeneration, micronutrition, nutritional supplementation

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