Some blood pressure drugs may increase glaucoma risk

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Glaucoma and blood pressure drugs

Mr Anthony Khawaja is President of the European Eye Epidemiology (E3) consortium, which promotes the sharing of knowledge and research between 31 groups originating from 13 different European countries.

They recently published their most recent research in the sector-leading Ophthalmology journal on the association of common systemic medications with glaucoma and intraocular pressure (IOP).

The study found that calcium channel blockers (CCBs) had a modest and statistically significant association with glaucoma.

Glaucoma and blood pressure drugs

Patients with a history of CCB treatment had a 23% higher likelihood of having glaucoma as compared with individuals who never used the antihypertensives. In contrast, beta-blocker therapy was associated with modestly reduced intraocular pressure (IOP), which is associated with a reduced risk of glaucoma.

“While our novel findings require further studies to determine whether the associations are causal, these findings will be of interest to physicians caring for glaucoma patients with systemic comorbidities,” Mr Anthony Khawaja explains.

“A potentially harmful association of CCBs for glaucoma is particularly noteworthy, as this is a commonly prescribed class of medication,” he added. “If further studies confirm a casual nature for this association, this may inform alternative treatment strategies for hypertensive patients with, or at risk of, glaucoma.”

Coverage of the study was widespread and Mr Anthony Khawaja was also delighted to be included in Bottom Line newsletter, the largest subscription newsletter in the US which offers expert advice on everything health related. They covered the study in their most editorial round-up.