Abstract 14966: Age Related Macular Degeneration and Coronary Artery Disease: Evidence of an Association in the US Veterans Population
Objective: Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. Although AMD shares multiple risk factors with coronary artery disease (CAD), the association between AMD and CAD is not clear.
Methods: We examined the records of 13,121 patients in a single Veterans Affairs Medical Center who underwent standard ophthalmological examination between 2000 and 2009. Using ICD codes, 3955 patients with AMD were identified and comprised the study group. A control group of 9166 patients was created from those diagnosed with cataract and no evidence of AMD. The prevalence of CAD and cardiovascular risk factors were documented based on ICD codes. We used univariate and multivariate analyses to examine the association between AMD and CAD without and with adjustment for race, diabetes, hypertension, tobacco abuse, and use of statins. Multivariate analyses were performed separately for those above and below the median age of the sample (75 years).
Results: Race and gender distributions were typical of an older veteran's population: 98% were male and 87% were white. Compared to controls, AMD patients were older (78±10 vs. 72±10 years, p<0.001) and had higher prevalence of hypertension (88% vs. 83%, p<0.001) and statin use (63% vs. 61%, p=0.047). Prevalence of CAD was significantly higher among AMD patients (39% vs. 35%, odds ratio [OR] 1.22, 95% CI 1.13, 1.32, p<0.001). After adjusting for race and cardiovascular risk factors, the association between CAD and AMD remained independent and significant in the older patients (estimated OR 1.13, 95% CI 1.01, 1.28, p=0.034) (Figure).
Conclusion: These findings support the existence of an association between AMD and CAD in this predominantly male white population, particularly in the older age group and supports co-screening efforts for these conditions.
- © 2011 by American Heart Association, Inc.