Early AMD associated with coronary heart disease

July 22, 2009

The results of a study published in the July issue of Ophthalmology has discovered that people in the early stages of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are at a higher risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD), offering further support to the theory that AMD is associated with underlying systemic vascular disease.

The results of a study published in the July issue of Ophthalmology has discovered that people in the early stages of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are at a higher risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD), offering further support to the theory that AMD is associated with underlying systemic vascular disease.

Tien Yin Wong, MD from Singapore Eye Research Institute and international colleagues conducted a population-based prospective cohort study of 2,228 people free of stroke aged between 69 and 97 years of age, 1,786 of whom were also free of CHD.

Of those free of CHD, 303 developed incident CHD over a seven-year period. It was found that those with early-stage AMD (n=227) had a higher cumulative incidence of CHD than those without, 28.5% versus 18.9%. However, late-stage AMD (n=25) was not associated with incident CHD. Of the total 2,228 persons, 198 developed incident stroke but neither early or late-stage AMD was associated with incident stroke.

It was the conclusion of the authors that people with early-stage AMD do have a higher risk of developing coronary heart disease but not stroke.