COMMENTARY

Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Calcium Supplements: Is There a Reason to Change Clinical Practice?

Charles C. Wykoff, MD, PhD

Disclosures

August 14, 2015

In This Article

Summary and Consideration of Clinical Guidelines

Epidemiologic-based research is important for identifying and following health and disease trends among populations. However, as a science-based medical community, we must be careful to both highlight the limitations of research and refrain from overinterpreting results. Cross-sectional analyses such as the one reported by Kakigi and colleagues[16] are excellent for generating hypotheses, but these hypotheses must be analyzed in other databases and, ideally, prospectively evaluated before causation can be seriously considered.

Therefore, clinical recommendations for calcium supplementation should not be changed on the basis of the data published by Kakigi and colleagues. Specifically, patients should not stop taking calcium supplements in an attempt to alter their risk for AMD development, especially given the exceptionally well-documented benefits of calcium supplementation in specific patient populations, including those at risk for osteoporosis. Rather, clinical advice to patients with AMD and those at risk for AMD should focus on well-documented strategies, including maintaining a nonsmoking lifestyle, optimal cardiovascular risk factor control, and consideration of AREDS-based supplementation.

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