Article Date: 4/1/2009

Vitamins, Folic Acid Reduce AMD Risk in Women
Wise to the World

Vitamins, Folic Acid Reduce AMD Risk in Women

By Judith Riddle
Senior Editor

TAKING A COMBINATION of vitamins B6 and B12 and folic acid appears to lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in women, according to a report in the Feb. 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

In a randomized, double-blind clinical trial of 5,442 women ages 40 and older, researchers found a 34% reduced risk of AMD and a 41% lower risk of visually significant AMD in subjects who took 50 milligrams of vitamin B6, 1 milligram of vitamin B12 and 2.5 milligrams of folic acid per day over a 7-year period.

"The trial findings are the strongest evidence to date in support of a possible beneficial effect of folic acid and B vitamin supplements in AMD prevention," said the researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Since these findings apply to the early stages of the disease, they appear to represent the first identified way — other than not smoking — to reduce the risk of AMD in people who have an average risk.

Recent studies have drawn a connection between AMD and blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine. High levels of homocysteine are associated with dysfunction of the blood vessel lining, whereas treatment with vitamins B6 and B12 and folic acid appears to reduce homocysteine levels and may reverse this blood vessel dysfunction.

Optimal Vision With Astigmatic CLs

It's all about stability. For every 10° of rotation, onethird of the cylinder power reappears in the over-refraction. When cross-cylinders get confusing, consider using only your spherical over-refraction and LARS to select the next lens. If you have a choice between base curves, select the steeper one. Most of the time, the steeper base curve moves adequately, and you just may have bought yourself a little more stability.

Kelly Kingsbury, OD Columbus, Ohio
For more great fitting tips, visit

Eye Disorders and Hearing Loss Linked In Children

ABOUT ONE-FIFTH of children with sensorineural hearing loss also have vision problems, reported a study in the February issue of Archives of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery.

Following ophthalmologic examination, researchers found that 21.7% of the children studied (n=226) had a vision problem; 10.2% had refractive errors, and 12.8% had nonrefractive conditions, including strabismus.

Because kids with hearing loss rely on other senses to cope with daily life, undetected vision problems could have additional detrimental effects on their development, researchers said. To remedy this, the researchers recommend routine eye exams for all children who have sensorineural hearing loss to make an early diagnosis and begin intervention to maximize visual acuity.

Former News Co-anchor To Give Keynote at Optometry's Meeting

BOB WOODRUFF, the former ABC's World News Tonight co-anchor who was seriously injured by a roadside bomb while reporting in Iraq in 2006, will be the keynote speaker at the American Optometric Association's 2009 Optometry's Meeting in Washington, DC.

Woodruff will present his speech, sponsored by Essilor, during the event's opening general session on June 25, 2009. In February 2007, the former news co-anchor and his wife, Lee, released In an Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing, their personal memoir about his recovery after his attack in Iraq, and the medical and family support that helped him heal. For more information about Optometry's Meeting held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, visit

Optometric Management, Issue: April 2009