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The Cost-effectiveness of Vitamin Therapy for Age Related Macular Degeneration

This 2007 study simulated the incidence and natural history of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) with and without the use of prophylactic antioxidant vitamin plus zinc supplements to prevent advanced vision threatening disease. The study found that the universal use of vitamin therapy would reduce the percentage of patients with early AMD who ever developed visual impairment in the better-seeing eye to 5.6% compared to 7.0% without such therapy. Compared to no therapy, vitamin therapy cost approximately $21,000 per quality adjusted life (QALY) gained, in 2003 dollars, a cost that was favorable compared to other ocular health interventions.

Incremental Cost-Effectiveness of Vitamin Therapy to Prevent Advanced AMD as Compared to No Therapy

 CostYears Visual Impairment and BlindnessQuality-Adjusted
Life Years (QALYs)
Incremental Cost-Effectiveness
Ratio (Total
Cost/QALY), $
AMD CostsNursing Home CostsTotal
Conventional Treatment583.41
Vitamin Therapy for All Diagnosed720.87










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Rein DB, Saaddine JB, Wittenborn JS, et al. Cost-effectiveness of vitamin therapy for age-related macular degeneration. Ophthalmology 2007;114(7):1319–1326.




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