Good for blood pressure…Not so good for eyes
Sunday, August 10 2014 | 00 h 00 min | News
High blood pressure drugs may increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin conducted a long-term study between 1988 and 2013 involving 5,000 residents of Beaver Dam, aged 43 to 86 years. They found that using any vasodilator (such as Apresoline or Loniten) was associated with a 72% greater risk of developing early-stage AMD. An estimated 8.2% of the people who were not taking vasodilators developed AMD symptoms, compared to 19.1% of those who were.
A similar increase (+71%) in the risk of neovascular AMD was found in people using oral beta blockers such as Tenormin and Lopressor. An estimated 0.5% of non-users developed this form of the condition, compared to 1.2% of users.
While the study provides risk estimates of associations between blood pressure lowering medications and AMD at various stages, it was not able to provide any direct indication of the effects of the medications themselves or the conditions for which participants were taking the medications. “It is important that these results be replicated and tested in a clinical trials setting before changing anyone’s medication regimens,” cautioned lead researcher Dr. Ronald Klein.