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Hyman L, Schachat AP, He Q, Leske MC, for the Age-Related Macular Degeneration Risk Factors Study Group. Hypertension, Cardiovascular Disease, and Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Arch Ophthalmol. 2000;118(3):351–358. doi:10.1001/archopht.118.3.351
To describe a case-control study of risk factors for neovascular and non-neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and to present findings on associations with systemic hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
Participants with and without neovascular and non-neovascular AMD were recruited from 11 ophthalmology practices in the New York, NY, metropolitan area. Comprehensive data collection included (1) a standardized interview, (2) blood pressure measurements, and (3) blood samples. Cases and controls were classified from fundus photograph gradings. Polychotomous logistic regression analyses were used to evaluate associations.
Classification of 1222 sets of available photographs resulted in the inclusion of a neovascular case group (n = 182), a non-neovascular case group (n = 227), and a control group (n = 235). Neovascular AMD was positively associated with diastolic blood pressure greater than 95 mm Hg (odds ratio [OR] = 4.4), self-reported use of potent antihypertensive medication (OR = 2.1), physician-reported history of hypertension (OR = 1.8), use of antihypertensive medication (OR = 2.5), combinations of self-reported and physician-reported data on hypertension and its treatment (OR = 1.7), high-density lipoprotein level (OR = 2.3), and dietary cholesterol level (OR = 2.2). Non-neovascular AMD was unrelated to hypertension or cholesterol level. No associations were found between either AMD type and other definitions of hypertension or other cardiovascular disease.
These findings suggest that neovascular AMD is associated with moderate to severe hypertension, particularly among patients receiving antihypertensive treatment. They also support the hypotheses that neovascular and non-neovascular AMD may have a different pathogenesis and that neovascular AMD and hypertensive disease may have a similar underlying systemic process.
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