“Issues remain regarding the safety and effectiveness of AREDS 2 vitamins.”
Genetic Polymorphisms of CFH and ARMS2 Do Not Predict Response to Antioxidants and Zinc in Patients with Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Independent Statistical Evaluations of Data from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study
Melissa J. Assel, MS, Fan Li, MS, Ying Wang, PhD, Andrew S. Allen, PhD, Keith A. Baggerly, PhD, Andrew J. Vickers, PhD
We provide comment to the October 2017 NIH sponsored publication1 in Ophthalmology as noted above. This publication presents a statistical analysis suggesting that genetic testing is not necessary for the selection of AREDS eye supplements to delay or prevent progression to Advanced AMD. We understand that commercial conflicts of interest related to AREDS limit the independence of the NIH and indirectly for these authors as NIH grantees.
This is another publication attempting to clarify the relationship between genetics, the efficacy of the AREDS vitamins and progression to advanced AMD.
Genetic interaction with AREDS eye Vitamins affect progression to Wet AMD only and not to Geographic Atrophy (Advanced Dry AMD).
The original AREDS study by Chew et al.3 showed that the AREDS formula only worked to prevent or delay progression to Wet AMD; the formula did not work to prevent Geographic Atrophy (GA). This new Assel et al.1 analysis included 55% of their patients with the diagnosis of GA as a clinical outcome but AREDS doesn’t work for GA and the genetic interaction with AREDS is only related to progression to Wet AMD and not GA.
The largest independent analysis of genetics in the AREDS study ever published was by Dr. Seddon et al.2 She demonstrated that some 2/3 of patients benefited from AREDS but 1/3 did not. Some patients realized an 85% reduction in risk for Wet AMD while others had a 54% increased risk for Wet AMD while taking AREDS. She saw a statistically significant ability of genetics to discriminate between the best and the worst responders to AREDS (p=0.024), but only for Wet AMD progression.
The inclusion of Geographic Atrophy (Advanced Dry AMD) in this new publication dilutes the data analysis to non-significance, disguises the truth and creates confusion among health care professionals and their patients.
- Genetic Polymorphisms of CFH and ARMS2 Do Not Predict Response to Antioxidants and Zinc in Patients with Age-Related Macular Degeneration; M. Assel, F. Li, Ying Wang, A. Allen, K. Baggerly, A. Vickers. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ophtha.2017.09.008
- Seddon JM, Silver RE and Rosner B. Response to AREDS supplements according to genetic factors: survival analysis approach using the eye as the unit of analysis. The British Journal of Ophthalmology 2016; 100:1731-1737.
- Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research, G., A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and vision loss: AREDS report no. 8. Arch Ophthalmology, 2001.
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