• Should I be concerned about a possible relationship between blood pressure medication and glaucoma?


    Question:

    At a recent health/diet seminar, I was given information from an article in Ophthalmology, December 2007: 114(12):2221-6 titled "Systemic antihypertensive medication and incident open-angle glaucoma." Neither my ophthalmologist nor my heart specialist have heard about this concern. I currently take Amoldipine for high blood pressure and it is the most effective medication of several I have tried. Should I be concerned? What information can you give me to give to both my doctors about this issue?


    Answer:

    This study was a population-based prospective cohort study of a subset of 3,842 patients from the Rotterdam study who had at least five years of follow-up. These researchers found that after a multivariate analysis of the 87 patients who developed open angle glaucoma during the follow-up window, participants using calcium channel blockers were more likely (odds ratio: 1.8) to develop open angle glaucoma, and that patients using beta-blockers had an insignificant risk reduction (odds ratio: 0.6). This study correlates with at least one previous study, but is at odds with several studies suggesting a protective role for calcium channel blockers in normal-tension open angle glaucoma. You should certainly discuss your concerns with both your ophthalmologist and your cardiologist.


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