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June 13, 2011

Lifestyle and Risk of Developing Open-Angle Glaucoma: The Rotterdam Study

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Epidemiology (Drs Ramdas, Wolfs, Hofman, Vingerling, and Jansonius) and Ophthalmology (Drs Ramdas, Wolfs, and Vingerling), Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, Department of Ophthalmogenetics, the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (Dr de Jong), and Department of Ophthalmology, Academic Medical Center (Dr de Jong), Amsterdam, and Department of Ophthalmology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen (Dr Jansonius).



Arch Ophthalmol. 2011;129(6):767-772. doi:10.1001/archophthalmol.2010.373

Open-angle glaucoma (OAG) is a chronic eye disease characterized by glaucomatous optic neuropathy and corresponding glaucomatous visual field loss. Scientific research has identified several risk factors for OAG. Some of them are modifiable (eg, intraocular pressure [IOP]), whereas others are not (eg, age, sex, myopia, and ethnicity).1,2

A lower socioeconomic status (SES) (income and education) might be a risk indicator for OAG.3,4 While SES cannot be changed easily by a patient, some other lifestyle-related risk factors can. Other lifestyle-related risk factors potentially involved in OAG are smoking, alcohol intake, and obesity.5,6 Studies on smoking could neither find a clear association with OAG nor with IOP.7-10 The same seems to be true for alcohol consumption and OAG,7 but interestingly, there is evidence that a higher alcohol intake is associated with a higher IOP.10,11 Similar but apparently conflicting results have been reported on obesity. Obesity has been reported to be inversely related to OAG12,13 but positively related to IOP.14 Especially because the lifestyle-related risk factors smoking, alcohol intake, and obesity are modifiable, these contradicting findings need further evaluation.