Glaucoma and mortality link remains unknown

April 1, 2009

Although there appears to be a relationship between open-angle glaucoma (OAG) and cardiovascular disease, its nature remains unknown, reported a study published online ahead of print by Eye.

Although there appears to be a relationship between open-angle glaucoma (OAG) and cardiovascular disease, its nature remains unknown, reported a study published online ahead of print by Eye.

D.A. Mackey of the Centre for Eye Research Australia, Victoria, Australia and colleagues investigated the association between OAG and mortality by cross-referencing data gained from Tasmania’s Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages with those gained from deceased participants of the Glaucoma Inheritance Study in Tasmania (GIST) study. From these sources, the team gathered and cross-referenced data on 741 people, which were then modelled to provide a contingency analysis.

After adjusting for known risk factors, the team found that, compared with the rest of the population, OAG sufferers had an odds ratio of 1.30 of death from ischaemic heart disease, which represented a statistically significant increase in risk. The incidence of death from metastatic cancer appeared at first to be lower in the OAG population: this difference did not survive risk factor adjustment.

The team concluded that although the reason that OAG patients have a higher rate of death from cardiovascular disease is unknown, clinicians should be aware of this link.