MAR 08, 2010
This longitudinal study evaluated claims data from 2003 to 2007 for 21,506 individuals (age ≥ 40) with glaucoma or suspected glaucoma enrolled in a managed care network in southeastern Michigan. The most commonly used glaucoma medications were prostaglandin analogues (20.8 percent) and β-antagonists (12.8 percent). A total of 6,032 individuals (28 percent) were prescribed oral β-blockers. Two hundred and thirty-seven participants (1.1 percent) died during the study period. After adjustment for potential confounding variables, Cox regression analysis showed that use of any class of glaucoma medication was associated with a 74 percent reduced hazard of death compared with no glaucoma medication use, and this association was observed for use of a single agent alone or different combinations of drug classes.
The authors suggested additional studies to determine whether this result is best explained by a protective effect of the medications themselves or by other confounding factors, such as access to care or providers' prescribing patterns.