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A.K. Junk, B.V. Worgul, G.L. Spaeth; Is Anemia A Risk Factor For Glaucoma? . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):3402.
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The role of anemia in open angle glaucoma has been controversial historically and still is to date. Chronic open angle glaucoma is strongly associated with intraocular pressure, age, race, family history, and corneal thickness. Additional factors include lamina cribrosa architecture and optic nerve head perfusion. Conflicting evidence exists on the role of systemic blood pressure, migraine headaches, hypercoagulative states, blood and plasma viscosity, and anemia.
A retrospective chart review of 37 individuals with open angle glaucoma and 39 glaucoma suspects was conducted. Patients had been diagnosed in accordance with the preferred practice patterns published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Individuals with a history of diabetes mellitus, sickle cell disease and chronic systemic conditions associated with anemia were excluded. Age, race, gender, family history, central corneal thickness, intraocular pressure, perimetry, optic nerve and anemia parameters were recorded. Statistical analysis was computed with SPSS software.
Glaucoma suspects were younger (females: 61 ± 12 y; males: 58 ± 12 y) than individuals with glaucoma (females: 71 ± 13 y; males: 67 ± 11 y). Hemoglobin levels were lower in glaucoma suspects (women 12.2 ± 1.0 mg/dl; men 13.1 ± 1.9 mg/dl) than in glaucoma patients (women 13.0 ± 0.9 mg/dl; men 14.5 ± 1.7 mg/dl). The difference in hemoglobin was statistically significant (women: p < 0.004; men: p < 0.042) and independent of other identified disease parameters.
Mild anemia does not appear to be a risk factor for glaucoma and may possibly have a protective effect. The findings will be discussed in detail in the context of present clinical and experimental evidence.
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