Antihypertensive use in clinical practice should remain unchanged, recent study suggests.

Antihypertensive use in clinical practice should remain unchanged, recent study suggests. Photo: Joseph Sowka, OD. Click image to enlarge.

A recent study looking into the association between antihypertensive use clinically and cataract risk found that this class of drugs was not associated with an increased prevalence of this ocular occurrence. Previous research was inconsistent on the matter.

The case-controlled study evaluated the Korean National Health Insurance Service-Health Screening Cohort database from 2002 to 2013. Cases were defined as patients prescribed antihypertensives who underwent cataract surgery between 2010 and 2013. Controls were patients prescribed antihypertensives with no history of cataract diagnosis or surgery between 2002 and 2013. Four controls were matched to each case, and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals were estimated for cataract risk using a conditional logistic regression model after adjustment.

The analysis included 12,166 cases and 48,664 controls. The adjusted ORs for cataract were 1.18 with thiazide diuretics, 1.12 with beta-blockers, 0.94 with calcium channel blockers, 1.22 with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and 0.97 with angiotensin II receptor blockers compared with non-use of each antihypertensive.

“Given the benefits of treating hypertension, such as the reduction in further complications, we suggest there is no need to change current clinical practice for antihypertensives,” the study authors wrote in their paper for Ophthalmic Epidemiology. “However, in a few sections of drug exposure, the risk of cataract increases with the duration of the use of some antihypertensives, therefore it should be taken into account that hypertension itself may increase the risk of cataracts rather than the use of antihypertensives.”

Yang HL, Byun SJ, Park S, et al. Antihypertensive use and the risk of cataract in patients with hypertension: a nationwide case-control study. Ophthalmic Epidemiol. November 11, 2022. [Epub ahead of print].