Poor Circulation and Aged Related Macular Degeneration Study 2009



Previous research has suggested that there are similar patterns in people who have macular degeneration (AMD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). But it was unknown whether having AMD could predict having stroke or heart disease.

Reviewers systematically pulled data about AMD status and the estimates of risk of CVD as well as the methods used to evaluate both. They looked at 13 studies including more than a million and a half people. More than 155,000 of those people had CVD (stroke or heart disease).

They found that there was a 15% increased risk of cardiovascular disease in those with early macular degeneration. The increased risk was much greater (66%) for those with late AMD.

Researchers: J. Wu, M. Uchino, et al
Published: Age-related macular degeneration and the incidence of cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis, PLoS One, March, 2014


A large study found strong evidence that older people who have age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are at increased risk for coronary heart disease (CHD), although not for stroke. This result adds to mounting evidence that AMD and cardiovascular disease may share some risk factors: smoking, high blood pressure, inflammatory indicators such as C-reactive protein, genetic variants such as complement factor H, and disease mechanisms.

The Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) followed the health of more than 1,700 white or African American participants for about seven years. The subjects did have have heart disease or stroke at beginning of the study.

The incidence of CHD was 25.76 percent in patients with AMD, compared with 18.9 percent in those without AMD. The association between AMD and CHD was somewhat stronger in people age 69 to 78 than age 79 and up.

Data were adjusted to take into consideration factors like hypertension, diabetes, and smoking.