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Felise May Barte, Shaam Mahasneh, Beverley Adams-Huet, Karanjit Kooner; Systemic Illnesses In Glaucoma: A Possible Link Between Glaucoma And Breast Cancer?. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):6386.
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To determine the prevalence of systemic illnesses in patients diagnosed with primary open angle glaucoma (POAG), as compared to patients without POAG.
This was a retrospective chart review of patients with and without the diagnosis of POAG of three glaucoma specialists at a private academic institution from June to October 2011. Age, race, gender and illnesses categorized under cardiovascular, hematology, oncology, infectious, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal, allergy, immunology, rheumatology, endocrinology and metabolism, neurodegenerative, skin and psychiatry were recorded.
Of the 486 patients reviewed, 238 had POAG; 248 did not have POAG (control group). The number of men and women were comparable between the two groups (POAG, men, n= 108, women, n=130; Control, men, n=138, women, n=110). Not surprisingly, POAG patients were older (mean age=68.8years) than those without POAG (mean age=61.7years) (p<0.01), and there were more African American patients in the POAG group (38.2%) as compared to the control group (28.6%) (p=0.05). Non-Hispanic white and Hispanic patients were represented similarly in both groups. There was no difference found between the POAG and control group in regards to cardiovascular, hematology, oncology, infectious, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal, allergy, immunology, rheumatology, endocrinology and metabolism, neurodegenerative, skin and psychiatric categorized illnesses. Interestingly, of the females with POAG, 14% (n=18/130) had a history of breast cancer, as compared to only 5% (n=7/138) of females in the control group (p<0.05). Females with POAG were three times more likely to have a history of breast cancer, when compared to females without POAG (odds ratio 3.01, 95% CI 1.21-7.46). The reverse relationship was also similar. Females with a history of breast cancer were approximately three times more likely to have a diagnosis of POAG, when compared to females without a history of breast cancer (odds ratio 2.71, 95% CI 1.07-6.87).
Our results may suggest an association between POAG and breast cancer. A more thorough investigation regarding the classification, biological markers, family history, medications, and other treatment modalities of breast cancer is underway to better understand the basis of this link. Large scale epidemiological studies may be warranted.
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