Financial support: None
The authors have full control of all primary data, and agree to allow Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology to review the data upon request.
No conflicting relationship exists for any author.
Falls are a serious problem in the elderly, and have recently been described as cardiovascular-mediated side effects of beta-blocker eye drops. Therefore, we investigated the possible association between the long-term use of beta-blockers, prostaglandins and their combinations in eye drops, and falls, dizziness and orthostatic hypotension in older patients.
All participants were long-term users of eye drops containing beta-blockers, prostaglandins or their combinations. They underwent a structured falls interview and blood pressure measurement for testing of orthostatic hypotension. The odds ratio for presence of orthostatic hypotension or a positive falls history according to use of beta-blocker eye drops was calculated with a binary logistic regression analysis. The main outcome measures were a positive falls history and the presence of orthostatic hypotension.
In total, 148 of 286 subjects participated. After adjustment for age, gender, and use of fall-risk-increasing drugs other than beta-blocker eye drops, we found no significant difference in fall risk [odds ratio (OR): 0.60; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.268–1.327] between patients using ophthalmic beta-blockers or a combination of ophthalmic beta-blockers and prostaglandins, and patients using ophthalmic prostaglandins only. Although prevalence of orthostatic hypotension was higher in the beta-blocker group (OR: 1.67; 95% CI: 0.731–3.793) compared to the prostaglandin group, this was a non-significant difference.
In our study, we did not find a significant association between long-term use of beta-blockers eye drops and falls, dizziness or orthostatic hypotension in older ophthalmic outpatients, compared to long-term use of prostaglandin eye drops.
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- Evaluation of risk of falls and orthostatic hypotension in older, long-term topical beta-blocker users
Wishal D. Ramdas
Nathalie van der Velde
Tischa J. M. van der Cammen
Roger C. W. Wolfs
- Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Incorporating German Journal of Ophthalmology
Print ISSN: 0721-832X
Elektronische ISSN: 1435-702X