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Gregor Thomaschewski, Karin R Pillunat, Eberhard Spoerl, Lutz E Pillunat; Lifestyle-parameters of glaucoma patients compared to age-matched controls. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):2859.
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It has been shown that patients suffering from chronic diseases tend to show a unhealthy lifestyle compared to controls.
190 glaucoma patients were included in this study. The control group comprised 97 age-matched participants. They responded to a standardized questionnaire relating to physical activities, alcohol and nicotine consumption as well as high-salt and high-protein intake.Contingency tables were prepared and analyzed by a chi-squared test.
Of the 190 glaucoma patients, 81 patients had slight visual field impairments (MD<6dB) and 109 patients had moderately severe (MD<12dB) to severe (MD≥12dB) visual field defects. There were no statistically significant differences in relation to age and gender in the groups. Statistically significantly more glaucoma patients were non-smokers (n=169; 89.4%) compared to the control group (n=64; 66.7%) (p=0.001). Statistically significantly more glaucoma patients were teetotal compared to the control group (24.5% compared to 14.4%) (p=0.041). The level of physical activity was higher in the glaucoma group than in the control group (47.3% vs. 35.4%) (p=0.056). 176 (96.7%) glaucoma patients and 88 (90.7%) of the control group had high protein intake (p=0.035), salt intake did not differ between the groups (69.3% vs. 73.2%). The severity of visual field defects, whether slight, moderately severe or severe, had no statistically significant impact on lifestyle-parameters.
We expected that glaucoma patients would tend towards an unhealthier lifestyle, i.e. smoke more, drink more alcohol and are physically less active than the control group, due to their daily impairments caused by the stresses of a chronic illness with the risk of blindness.However, the opposite was seen. Glaucoma patients have healthier lifestyles than the control group. Presumably, the cause of this healthier lifestyle is the fear of progression of glaucoma which might be provoked in particular by risk factors such as nicotine abuse.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.
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