Ophthalmic findings among the participants of the "vitamin E, cataract & age related macular degeneration" (VECAT) study

L. D. Robman, S. K.M. Garrett, A. P. Thomas, C. A. Harper, C. A. McCarty, J. J. McNeil, H. R. Taylor

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Purpose: To describe the baseline characteristics of the participants in the VECAT study, a randomised clinical trial assessing the effects of antioxidants on the incidence and progression of cataract and age related maculopathy on volunteers aged 55-80 years. Method: Pupils were dilated to a minimum of 6.5 mm. Lens opacities were graded with the Wilmer system on slit lamp. The fundus was examined by binocular and slit lamp indirect ophthalmoscopy. Exclusion criteria were: previous cataract surgery, advanced cataract (NO>2, CO=4), inability to photograph the lens or macula, current use of steroids or anticoagulants, other serious diseases, severe hypertension, use or sensitivity to Vitamin E. Results: Data are available for the first 843 people enrolled (target 1200). Of these 3.2% had corneal pathology, 40% had early cataract changes (cortical opacities in 33%, nuclear opacity in 3.6%, posterior subcapsular opacity in 3.2%), 16% had coronary or minor congenital lens opacities, 0.6% had pseudoexfoliation. Fundoscopy revealed age related maculopathy (drusen, RPE and microvascular changes) in 29%, AMD in 6.3%, epiretinal membrane in 4.0%, diabetic retinopathy in 0.9%, asteroid hyalosis in 0.4%, nevus in 2.3%, chorioretinal scar in 1.3%. Conclusion: The inclusion criteria have selected participants with either normal eyes or minor age related changes who should generally resemble the majority of the population aged 55-80.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 1996

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