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March 1, 2005

Vitamin E and the Age-Related Eye Disease Study Supplementation for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Arch Ophthalmol. 2005;123(3):395-396. doi:10.1001/archopht.123.3.395

An oral presentation at the November 2004 meeting of the American College of Physicians in New Orleans, La, which summarized a meta-analysis of controlled clinical trials of vitamin E, received much attention from the press, with headlines such as “Vitamin E Supplements Might Kill You” and “Vitamin E Can Be Deadly.” The article,1 published in the January 2005 edition of the Annals of Internal Medicine, reports that taking high-dose vitamin E supplements does not lower the risk of death and might be associated with a small increase in the risk of death. These study conclusions have resulted in confusion among the treating physicians and persons who are at moderate or high risk for developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and who are taking the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) supplements that include 400 international units (IU) of vitamin E daily.2

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