One-hundred and five participants previously enrolled at the Clinical Center for AREDS will be followed on an annual basis for five years. These annual visits will include a comprehensive eye exam, fundus and lens photographs and a blood sample. In addition, clinical coordinators will conduct semi-annual phone calls to the participants. These follow-up visits will provide data on a cohort of participants for whom we will have the very unusual ability to report on the 15-18 year natural history of two diseases, cataract and AMD. It will also provide additional data on possible adverse effects associated with the treatment with AREDS supplements (high doses of vitamins C, E, beta-carotene, zinc and copper). There are individual case reports in the literature on the progression of AMD over a 15-year period, and population data on follow-up of cohorts of participants for 10 years, but to our knowledge no systematic data have been collected over a 15-year period. The population based data demonstrate a clear increase in the risk of AMD progression after age 80. The ability to follow this progression of disease over a very long period with serial photos will allow us to better develop hypotheses as to why some persons progress while others do not. Study Objectives The objective of this study is to follow 105 former AREDS participants annually for 5 years with a semi-annual telephone contact to collect additional data on AMD and cataracts. These follow-up visits will allow the NEI to collect additional data on possible ocular events for both AMD and cataracts and for documentation of any adverse effects associated with the AREDS treatment. Most importantly, this very long follow-up with careful photographic documentation of the progress of both cataract and AMD will allow for the development of hypotheses as to why some persons progress while others do not.

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National Eye Institute (NEI)
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