Objective: To evaluate the patient's understanding of the importance and adherence to the various lifestyle and Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) supplement recommendations for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Design: Cross-sectional study. Participants: Patients with AMD treated at the vitreoretinal service clinic. Methods: Telephone questionnaire survey was administered to assess knowledge and adherence to various recommendations made to patients with AMD about lifestyle and AREDS supplements in this single-institution study. Results: Among 92 patients with AMD contacted, dietary modification, exercise and weight reduction, smoking cessation, and AREDS supplementation recommendations were recalled by 47 (51%), 21 (23%), 5 (5%), and 90 (98%) patients, respectively. The necessity of making these interventions was believed by 29 (62%), 16 (76%), 4 (80%), and 67 (74%) patients, respectively. Patient adherence to dietary modification was 81%, to exercise and weight reduction was 76%, to smoking cessation was 0%, and to AREDS supplementation was 88% (71% on correct dose). Financially, 29% of the patients noted a mean increase of $88 per month in expenditure because of making dietary modifications, but most reported such as justified; 61 % noted a mean increase of $25 per month in expenditure from consumption of AREDS supplements, and most (96%) believed this was justified. Conclusions: Patients with AMD recalled recommendations for AREDS supplementation more often than other lifestyle changes but generally felt recommendations were necessary and affordable. Adherence to smoking cessation recommendation was poor (0%), but to other recommendations was good.
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