June 12, 2014
1 min read

Hypertension drugs may increase risk for early AMD

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Use of vasodilators and oral beta-blockers was tied to a significantly increased incidence of exudative age-related macular degeneration, indicating that use in the care of older adults may need to be reevaluated, according to data from a segment of the Beaver Dam Eye Study.

The longitudinal, population-based study included 4,926 patients aged 43 to 86 years. Researchers reexamined the cohort at 5 years (n = 3,722), 10 years (n = 2,962), 15 years (n = 2,375) and 20 years (n = 1,913) for follow-up.

Data indicated the 5-year incidence of early AMD over the 20-year period was 8.4%. The 5-year incidence was 1.4% for late AMD, 0.6% for pure geographic atrophy, 0.9% for exudative AMD and 24.9% for progression of AMD, according to the researchers.

After adjustments made for factors including age and gender, the researchers found that the use of a vasodilator, particularly oral nitroglycerin, was linked to 72% increase in the hazard of incidence for early AMD.

In addition, oral beta-blockers were associated with a 71% increase in the hazard of incident for exudative AMD, but not pure geographic atrophy or progression of AMD, throughout the 20-year study period.

Disclosure: The authors have no relevant financial disclosures.