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Study Reveals Adverse Connection Between Calcium Channel Blockers and Glaucoma

Study Reveals Adverse Connection Between Calcium Channel Blockers and Glaucoma

September 12, 2023

A study published online on September 7th in JAMA Ophthalmology reveals an adverse connection between the use of calcium channel blockers (CCBs) and glaucoma.

Alan Kastner, M.D., from Moorfields Eye Hospital National Health Service Foundation Trust and University College London, alongside colleagues, conducted a population-based cross-sectional study within the U.K. Biobank, focusing on participants with complete data related to glaucoma status, intraocular pressure (IOP), and inner retinal layer thicknesses derived from optical coherence tomography. The study encompassed data from 427,480 adults (median age of 58 years), of whom 33,175 were users of CCBs (7.8 percent).

The study's findings indicated that while the use of CCBs, as opposed to other antihypertensive medications, was correlated with a heightened likelihood of glaucoma, this association persisted even after adjusting for significant sociodemographic, medical, anthropometric, and lifestyle factors (with an odds ratio of 1.39).

Additionally, CCB use was linked to reduced thickness in both the macular ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer and macular retinal nerve fiber layer (-0.34 and -0.16 µm, respectively), but not with changes in IOP.

"This cross-sectional study adds further support to an adverse association between CCB use and glaucoma, despite no apparent association with IOP," the authors write. "This warrants further investigation to determine whether the associations are causal and to probe potential underlying biological mechanisms."


Alan Kastner et al, Calcium Channel Blocker Use and Associated Glaucoma and Related Traits Among UK Biobank Participants, JAMA Ophthalmology (2023). DOI: 10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2023.3877

Paula Anne Newman-Casey et al, Power of Public Investment in Curated Big Health Data, JAMA Ophthalmology (2023). DOI: 10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2023.4156