Age-related macular disease and diabetic retinopathy are chronic degenerative diseases characterised by progressive visual impairment. In Europe, age-related macular disease accounts for over 15% of blindness in adults over 50 years of age, and although the burden of diabetic retinopathy in terms of vision impairment is lower, vision loss associated with diabetic retinopathy is increasing with the rising prevalence of diabetes mellitus and the ageing of the population. Late-stage age-related macular disease can be subdivided into dry (non-neovascular) or wet (neovascular or exudative) forms. The large Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 showed that supplementation with antioxidant nutrients reduces choroids neovascularisation and reduces the risk of progression of neovascular age-related macular disease. Antioxidant micronutrient supplements have also shown promising results in preventing the pathogenesis of retinopathy in animal models of diabetes. Age-related macular disease and diabetic retinopathy are understood to share some common pathophysiological characteristics, suggesting that micronutrients have an important role in ocular health in both conditions. This article will review the current evidence for the utility of micronutrients in preventing the development and progression of neovascular age-related macular disease and diabetic retinopathy.
- Age-related macular degeneration
- diabetic retinopathy
- neovascular age-related macular degeneration
ASJC Scopus subject areas