Age-related macular degeneration and antioxidant status in the POLA study. POLA Study Group. Pathologies Oculaires Liées à l'Age

Arch Ophthalmol. 1999 Oct;117(10):1384-90. doi: 10.1001/archopht.117.10.1384.


Objective: To give the levels of antioxidant nutrients in relation to age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Methods: Pathologies Oculaires Liees a l'Age is a population-based study on cataract and AMD and their risk factors, carried out on 2584 inhabitants of Sete, France. Age-related macular degeneration was defined by findings from fundus photographs according to an international classification. Biological measurements were taken from fasting blood samples.

Results: After multivariate adjustment, plasma alpha-to-copherol levels showed a weak negative association with late AMD (P = .07). Lipid-standardized plasma alpha-tocopherol levels showed a significant negative association with late AMD (P= .003): the risk of late AMD was reduced by 82% in the highest quintile compared with the lowest. Similarly, lipid-standardized plasma alpha-tocopherol levels were inversely associated with early signs of AMD (odds ratio, 0.72 [95% confidence interval, 0.53-0.98]; P=.04). No associations were found with plasma retinol and ascorbic acid levels or with red blood cell glutathione values.

Comment: These results suggest that vitamin E may provide protection against AMD. Only randomized interventional studies could prove the protective effect of vitamin E on AMD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Ascorbic Acid / blood
  • Cataract / blood
  • Cataract / epidemiology
  • Cataract / etiology
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration / blood*
  • Macular Degeneration / epidemiology*
  • Macular Degeneration / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Status
  • Prevalence
  • Vitamin A / blood
  • Vitamin E / blood*


  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Ascorbic Acid