Glaucoma medications associated with lower mortality

February 24, 2010

Researchers in the journal, Archives of Ophthalmology have indicated that results from a 4-year study of more than 21,000 Americans point to an association between glaucoma medications and a lower death rate.

Researchers in the journal, Archives of Ophthalmology have indicated that results from a 4-year study of more than 21,000 Americans point to an association between glaucoma medications and a lower death rate.

Reported by Reuters, Dr Joshua Stein of the University of Michigan said: “Our main findings were that people who filled at least one 30-day prescription for a medication had a 74 percent reduced hazard of death as compared to those who received no medications.”

The team examined different medications, combinations and amounts of medications and it was demonstrated that for the various categories of medications the protective effect appeared to be upheld.

Of 21,506 participants with glaucoma or suspected glaucoma, 237 (1.1%) died during the study period. The use of any class of glaucoma medication was associated with a 74% reduced hazard of death (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 0.26; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.16-0.40) compared with no glaucoma medication use. This association was observed for use of a single agent alone, such as a topical β-antagonist (0.44; 0.24-0.83) or a prostaglandin analogue (0.31; 0.18-0.54), and for use of different combinations of drug classes.

After adjustment for potential confounding variables, the use of glaucoma medications was associated with a reduced likelihood of death in this large sample of US adults with glaucoma. The researchers concluded that future investigations should explore this association further because these findings may have important clinical implications.