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Janet Lee, Omar Sirsy, Victoria L Tseng, Xiang Lu, Fei Yu, Anne L Coleman; The Association Between Glaucoma and Atopic Diseases and Common Allergy Triggers. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):2577.
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© 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
Emerging evidence indicates that the immune system may play a role in the pathogenesis of glaucomatous optic neuropathy. A previous study demonstrated that individuals with glaucoma had significantly higher odds of immunoglobulin E (IgE) sensitization to cat and cockroach antigens compared to those without glaucoma. The purpose of this retrospective cross-sectional study was to investigate the association between glaucoma and atopic diseases and common allergy triggers for participants of the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES).
This study included participants in the NHANES database from 2005-2006 with frequency doubling technology visual field results and optic disc photos, along with questionnaires for self-reported allergies. The outcome of interest was a clinical diagnosis of glaucoma based on the Rotterdam criteria. The exposures of interest included self-reported histories of hay fever, asthma, allergies, sinus infection, eczema, mold odor in home, cat ownership, dog ownership, and animal ownership. Logistic regression modeling was performed to assess the association between each exposure and glaucoma, while controlling for age, gender, race, income, and the use of allergy medications. All estimates were weighted by the multistage NHANES sampling design.
Among 1674 participants who met the inclusion criteria in the study sample, 84 (5.0%) subjects had glaucoma, representing a population weighted glaucoma prevalence of 3.2%. NHANES participants had increased odds of glaucoma if they owned cats (OR = 1.93; 95% CI: 1.001-3.71) and decreased odds of glaucoma if they had eczema (OR = 0.24; 95% CI 0.07-0.92). There were no statistically significant associations between glaucoma and hay fever, asthma, allergies, sinus infection, dog ownership, animal ownership, cockroach in the home, or mold odor.
Our study detected statistically significant associations between glaucoma and cat ownership and eczema. The finding of a positive association between cat ownership and glaucoma is consistent with previous reports of increased glaucoma risk in NHANES participants with IgE sensitization to cat antigens. Further research is needed to identify potential pathophysiologic mechanisms for these findings.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.
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