Cardiovascular disease and hypertension are strong risk factors for choroidal neovascularization.

Ruth Hogg, Jayne Woodside, Sarah Gilchrist, Ryan Graydon, Astrid Fletcher, Wing Chan, Angela Knox, Barry Cartmill, Usha Chakravarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To investigate the association of cardiovascular risk factors and inflammatory markers with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Design: Cross-sectional case-control study. Participants: Of the 410 of the =65-year-old community sample invited to attend, 205 participated (50% response rate). Of the 215 clinic attendees who were invited to participate, 212 agreed to take part (98% response rate). A diagnosis of neovascular AMD in at least one eye was made in 193 clinic attendees and 2 of the community sample. Methods: Clinic and community participants underwent a detailed ophthalmic examination with fundus imaging, were interviewed for assessment of putative risk factors, and provided a blood sample. Analysis included levels of serum lipids, intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM), vascular cellular adhesion molecule (VCAM), and C-reactive protein (CRP). All participants were classified by fundus image grading on the basis of the eye with more severe AMD features. Main Outcome Measure: Neovascular AMD. Results: There were 195 participants with choroidal neovascularization in at least one eye, 97 nonneovascular AMD participants, and 115 controls (no drusen or pigmentary irregularities in either eye). In confounder-adjusted logistic regression, a history of cardiovascular disease was strongly associated with neovascular AMD (odds ratio [OR], 7.53; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.78-20.41). Cigarette smoking (OR, 3.71; 95% CI, 1.25-11.06), being in the highest quartile of body mass index (OR, 3.82; 95% CI, 1.22-12.01), stage 2 hypertension (OR, 3.21; 95% CI, 1.14-8.98), and being in the highest quartile of serum cholesterol (OR, 4.66; 95% CI, 1.35-16.13) were positively associated with neovascular AMD. There was no association between AMD status and serum CRP, ICAM, or VCAM. Conclusions: Our results suggest that cardiovascular disease plays an etiological role in the development of choroidal neovascularization in a proportion of older adults and highlight the importance of control of blood pressure and cholesterol, avoidance of smoking, and maintenance of a normal body weight. © 2008 American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1046-1052
Number of pages7
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008

Bibliographical note

IF 5.45; 2/58 Ophthalmology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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