Macular degeneration linked to stroke, heart attack

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted March 17, 2008

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Those who develop age-related macular degeneration have an increased risk of death from a cardiovascular or cerebrovascular event, according to a study published online Feb. 29 in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

For a 10-year period, researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia followed 1,952 participants in that country's Blue Mountains Eye Study. Those diagnosed with AMD before age 75 more than doubled their risk of dying of a heart attack or stroke. Those who were already in the late stages of the disease at the start of the study had a fivefold increase in heart attack death and a tenfold increase of stroke mortality.

These boosts in risk were not found in those who developed this eye disease after 75.

The authors are calling for further research into whether this finding indicates a need for additional monitoring of these patients or changes to therapeutic strategies.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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