Does Macular Degeneration Increase Risk of Coronary Heart Disease?

October 5, 2009

In a study published in the October issue of Ophthalmology, researchers say that people with early age-related macular degeneration have a higher risk of coronary heart disease but not for stroke.

The Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) is a population-based cohort study of CVD in adults 65 years of age and older. The population consisted of 1786 white and African-American participants who did not have CHD or 2228 participants who had not had a stroke. These patients were evaluated for AMD using photographs and the main outcome measure was incident CHD and stroke.

In the population of the 1786 persons who did not have CHD, 303 developed incident CHD over 7 years. The study participants with early AMD (n = 277) had a higher cumulative incidence of CHD than participants without early AMD (25.8% vs. 18.9%, P = 0.001). Late AMD (n = 25) was not associated with incident CHD. Among 2228 persons in the stroke population, 198 participants developed incident stroke. In this study, neither early nor late AMD was associated with incident stroke.

The authors suggest that these findings may have broader implications for the population of patients who are treated for AMD with long-term antivascular endothelial growth factor therapy.

Read the abstract/article (log in required) here at the Ophthalmology website.




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