Vitamin E and age-related macular degeneration in a randomized trial of women

Ophthalmology. 2010 Jun;117(6):1163-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2009.10.043. Epub 2010 Feb 13.


Objective: To test whether alternate day vitamin E affects the incidence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in a large-scale randomized trial of women.

Design: Randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled trial.

Participants: Thirty-nine thousand eight hundred seventy-six apparently healthy female health professionals aged 45 years or older.

Intervention: Participants were assigned randomly to receive either 600 IU of natural-source vitamin E on alternate days or placebo.

Main outcome measures: Incident AMD responsible for a reduction in best-corrected visual acuity to 20/30 or worse based on self-report confirmed by medical record review.

Results: After 10 years of treatment and follow-up, there were 117 cases of AMD in the vitamin E group and 128 cases in the placebo group (relative risk, 0.93; 95% confidence interval, 0.72-1.19).

Conclusions: In a large-scale randomized trial of female health professionals, long-term alternate-day use of 600 IU of natural-source vitamin E had no large beneficial or harmful effect on risk of AMD.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Macular Degeneration / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Visual Acuity / physiology
  • Vitamin E / administration & dosage*
  • Women's Health*


  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamin E