The October issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology reported findings by Dr. Cecil Delcourt of the National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Paris that antioxidant status is strongly related to the prevalence of macular degeneration. Dr. Delcourt and members of the POLA study group evaluated information provided by 2,584 persons aged 60 or older.

Blood levels of glutathione and vitamins A, C and E were assessed as well as the eye health history, lens opacity and visual acuity of each individual. Color fundus photographs of the macular area of the eyes were taken for each patient. Of the group, 38 had late age-related macular degeneration. Persons older than eighty years of age experienced a higher prevalence of the disease.

Individuals having the highest vitamin E to lipid ratios were found to have an 82% decrease in the incidence of the disease. They were also found to have fewer early signs of age-related macular degeneration.

Although the investigators remarked that the study was observational, they stated that the results suggest a protective effect of vitamin E against age-related macular degeneration.