• Anti-VEGF Therapies for AMD Did Not Raise the Risk of MI, Stroke, or Death

    Written By: Marianne Doran and edited by Susan M. MacDonald, MD

    Journal Highlights

    Ophthalmology, October 2016

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    Yashkin et al.
    assessed the effect of intravitreal anti-VEGF therapy for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) on mortality and hospitaliza­tion for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and stroke over 5 years. The study compared 5-year periods before and after the advent of anti- VEGF drugs for AMD and found no significant differences in risk of these adverse outcomes.

    In this retro­spective cohort study, beneficia­ries who were newly diagnosed with exudative or nonexudative AMD in 2000 and 2006 were selected from a random longitu­dinal sample of Medicare 5% claims and enrollment files. Beneficiaries with a first diagnosis of exudative AMD in 2006 comprised the treatment group. There were 2 control groups: benefi­ciaries newly diagnosed with exudative AMD in 2000 or nonexudative AMD in 2000 or 2006. In the treatment group, the researchers included patients diagnosed with types of AMD for which anti-VEGF therapy was clinically appropriate and available; however, they did not determine whether these patients actually received the indicated anti-VEGF treatment, nor what specific anti-VEGF agents were used.

    The researchers did not identify any statistically significant differences in probabilities of death or hospital­izations for AMI and stroke during the 5-year follow-up periods for the treatment group of patients newly diagnosed with exudative AMD in 2006 compared with the 2 control groups.

    They concluded that the introduc­tion of anti-VEGF agents in 2006 for treatment of exudative AMD has not significantly increased the risk of AMI, stroke, or all-cause mortality.

    The original article can be found here.