Introducing Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Therapies for AMD Did Not Raise Risk of Myocardial Infarction, Stroke, and Death.

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PURPOSE: To assess the effect of availability of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapy on mortality and hospitalizations for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and stroke over a 5-year follow-up period in United States Medicare beneficiaries newly diagnosed with exudative age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in 2006 compared with control groups consisting of beneficiaries (1) newly diagnosed with exudative AMD at a time when anti-VEGF therapy was not possible and (2) newly diagnosed with nonexudative AMD. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Beneficiaries newly diagnosed with exudative and nonexudative AMD in 2000 and 2006 selected from a random longitudinal sample of Medicare 5% claims and enrollment files. METHODS: Beneficiaries with a first diagnosis of exudative AMD in 2006 were the treatment group; beneficiaries newly diagnosed with exudative AMD in 2000 or nonexudative AMD in 2000 or 2006 were control groups. To deal with potential selection bias, we designed an intent-to-treat study, which controlled for nonadherence to prescribed regimens. The treatment group consisted of patients with clinically appropriate characteristics to receive anti-VEGF injections given that the therapy is available, bypassing the need to monitor whether treatment was actually received. Control groups consisted of patients with clinically appropriate characteristics but first diagnosed at a time when the therapy was unavailable (2000) and similar patients but for whom the therapy was not clinically indicated (2000, 2006). We used a Cox proportional hazard model. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: All-cause mortality and hospitalization for AMI and stroke during follow-up. RESULTS: No statistically significant changes in probabilities of death and hospitalizations for AMI and stroke within a 5-year follow-up period were identified in exudative AMD beneficiaries newly diagnosed in 2006, the beginning of widespread anti-VEGF use, compared with 2000. As an alternative to our main analysis, which excluded beneficiaries from nonexudative AMD group who received anti-VEGF therapies during follow-up, we performed a sensitivity analysis with this group of individuals reincluded (11% of beneficiaries newly diagnosed with nonexudative AMD in 2006). Results were similar. CONCLUSIONS: Introduction of anti-VEGF agents in 2006 for treating exudative AMD has not posed a threat of increased risk of AMI, stroke, or all-cause mortality.






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Yashkin, Arseniy P, Paul Hahn and Frank A Sloan (2016). Introducing Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Therapies for AMD Did Not Raise Risk of Myocardial Infarction, Stroke, and Death. Ophthalmology, 123(10). pp. 2225–2231. 10.1016/j.ophtha.2016.06.053 Retrieved from

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Arseniy Yashkin

Research Scientist, Senior

I am primarily a health outcomes researcher who specializes in cancers and chronic age-related diseases, especially Alzheimer’s disease and type II diabetes mellitus.  However, I also write in epidemiology, demography, health economics and genetics.  I am a specialist in the analysis of administrative big health data.   My main contributions to scholarship can be summarized across three focus areas: health outcomes research, epidemiology and methodology, and health economics.  Some of my most important findings are described below.


Frank A. Sloan

J. Alexander McMahon Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Health Policy and Management

Professor Sloan is interested in studying the subjects of health policy and the economics of aging, hospitals, health, pharmaceuticals, and substance abuse. He has received funding from numerous research grants that he earned for studies of which he was the principal investigator. His most recent grants were awarded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Center for Disease Control, the Pew Charitable Trust, and the National Institute on Aging. Titles of his projects include, “Why Mature Smokers Do Not Quit,” “Legal and Economic Vulnerabilities of the Master Settlement Agreement,” “Determinants and Cost of Alcohol Abuse Among the Elderly and Near-elderly,” and “Reinsurance Markets and Public Policy.” He received the Investigator Award for his work on the project, “Reoccurring Crises in Medical Malpractice.” Some of his earlier works include the studies entitled, “Policies to Attract Nurses to Underserved Areas,” “The Impact of National Economic Conditions on the Health Care of the Poor-Access,” and “Analysis of Physician Price and Output Decisions.” Professor Sloan’s latest research continues to investigate the trends and repercussions of medical malpractice, physician behavior, and hospital behavior.

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