High BP drugs linked to increased risk of vision-threatening disease
Washington: Researchers have claimed to have found a connection between taking vasodilators and developing early-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
AMD is the deterioration of the eye's macula, which is responsible for the ability to see fine details clearly.
To help clarify the relationship between AMD incidence and blood pressure lowering medications, including vasodilators, researchers from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health conducted a long-term population-based cohort study from 1988 to 2013 of nearly 5,000 residents of Beaver Dam, Wis., aged 43 to 86 years.
The researchers found that, after adjusting for age, sex and other factors, using any vasodilator such as Apresoline and Loniten, which open (dilate) the blood vessels - was associated with a 72 percent greater risk of developing early-stage AMD.
Among people who were not taking vasodilators, an estimated 8.2 percent developed signs of early AMD. In comparison, among those taking a vasodilator medication, 19.1 percent developed the disease.
The researchers also found that taking oral beta blockers such as Tenormin and Lopressor was associated with a 71 percent increase in the risk of neovascular AMD, a more advanced and vision-threatening form of the disease.
Among those who were not taking oral beta blockers an estimated 0.5 percent developed signs of neovascular AMD. In comparison among those taking oral beta blockers, 1.2 percent developed neovascular AMD.
The study has been published online in the journal Ophthalmology.
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