Dark Side of a Blood Builder: Hormone linked to diabetic blindness

By Nathan Seppa, 15:53 PM April 15, 2008

Since 1989, physicians have prescribed the hormone erythropoietin (EPO) to combat anemia from blood loss, kidney failure, and cancer treatments. This compound orchestrates red blood cell production. But researchers in Japan now report that EPO may damage a person's vision.

The scientists found unusually high concentrations of EPO in the eyes of patients with advanced diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness among nonelderly adults in the industrialized world. In the Aug. 25 New En...

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