Methodology of the VECAT study: Vitamin E intervention in cataract and age-related maculopathy

Sinead K.M. Garrett, J. J. McNeil, C. Silagy, M. Sinclair, A. P. Thomas, L. D. Robman, C. A. McCarty, G. Tikellis, H. R. Taylor

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31 Scopus citations


Cataract is the leading cause of blindness in the world today, while age-related macular degeneration is responsible for the majority of new cases of visual impairment in the Western world. There is a growing body of evidence suggesting a role for antioxidant therapy to prevent the progression of these conditions. A 4-year prospective, randomised, controlled trial of an antioxidant versus placebo in a population of healthy volunteers aged 55-80 years at enrolment is described. This paper outlines the primary aims of the Vitamin E, Cataract and Age-related Macular Degeneration (VECAT) Study, the methodology, and the recruitment rates. Additional data on the toxicity and non-ocular effects of vitamin E will also be collected. Standardised clinical grading of macular and lens features, and comparison of serial macular photographs and digital lens photographs will form the basis for assessment of primary study outcomes. Information collected in this study will assist in the assessment of the potential value of antioxidants in preventing the enormous burden imposed on developed communities by age-related eye disease. In addition, important data on prevalence and progression rates of cataract and macular degeneration will be collected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-208
Number of pages14
JournalOphthalmic Epidemiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The VECAT Study is the recipient of a Program Grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia. Additional support is provided by the Jack Brockhoff Foundation, the Carleton Family Charitable Trust, Henkel Australia, the Eirene Lucas Foundation, Je Hope Knell Trust Fund, Stoicesco Foundation and Smith & Nephew Pty Ltd. The authors would also like to thank Dr. Flavia Cicuttini for editorial comments on this manuscript.


  • Age-related maculopathy
  • Antioxidant
  • Cataract
  • Macular degeneration
  • Randomised controlled trial
  • Vitamin E


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