Blood pressure drug may cause cataracts

July 23, 2009 Beta-blockers are widely used to reduce high blood pressure. They are used in pill form and also applied to the eye to treat glaucoma.

A new study has found an association between both forms of beta-blocker therapy and accelerated cataract formation which results in a need for cataract surgery. The research in the British Journal of Ophthalmology found an association even after taking into account such known risk factors as smoking and steroid use.

The study found a 45 percent increased incidence of cataract formation and a 61 percent higher incidence of cataract surgery among people treated with beta blockers either for glaucoma or high blood pressure.

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