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Nawaaz Nathoo, Mahyar Etminan, Frederick Mikelberg; Association between glaucoma, glaucoma therapies, and erectile dysfunction. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):443.
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To examine the association between 1) glaucoma and erectile dysfunction (ED), and 2) topical beta-blocker (BB) use and ED.
A comprehensive, province-wide database of physician visits and diagnoses, and prescription drug dispensing was used to identify cases of ED (1380) and find corresponding controls (13,800). A conditional logistic regression model was used to estimate rate ratios for two main exposures: 1) diagnosis of glaucoma and 2) use of a prescription of a topical BB prior to the index date. A variety of risk factors were adjusted for.
Cases were more likely to have coronary artery disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes. The crude rate ratio of a current diagnosis of ED in a population with at least 2 separate diagnoses of glaucoma was 1.34, and adjusted for a number of variables, this ratio was 1.37 (95% CI 1.06-1.76). Use of topical BB in the 30 days prior to the diagnosis of ED did not have a significant association with a diagnosis of ED, with crude and adjusted rate ratios of 1.05 and 1.10 (95% CI 0.61-1.99). Topical ocular prostaglandin use was also not associated with ED with crude and adjusted rate ratios of 0.96 and 0.93 (95% CI 0.57-1.53).
Our results confirm an association between ED and glaucoma that cannot be attributed to topical BB use. Given that most cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors were adjusted for, further research in this area will be necessary to elucidate the nature of this association and potential causation.
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