June 2015
Volume 56, Issue 7
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2015
Use of Acupuncture and Risk of Developing Open-Angle Glaucoma
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Joshua D Stein
    Kellogg Eye Center/Ophthal, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
    Institute for Health Care Policy and Innovation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Chien-Fu Lin
    Economics, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
  • Cho-Han Lee
    Pharmacy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
  • Hsien Chang Lin
    Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Joshua Stein, None; Chien-Fu Lin, None; Cho-Han Lee, None; Hsien Chang Lin, None
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2015, Vol.56, 4342. doi:
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      Joshua D Stein, Chien-Fu Lin, Cho-Han Lee, Hsien Chang Lin; Use of Acupuncture and Risk of Developing Open-Angle Glaucoma. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(7 ):4342.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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There is some evidence in the literature that acupuncture is associated with a reduction in intraocular pressure and can stimulate retinal nerve growth factors but to our knowledge there has never been a large scale study to assess whether there is an association between receipt of acupuncture and development of open-angle glaucoma (OAG).


Using 2006-2010 data from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD), we identified all enrollees age ≥ 40 years who were continuously enrolled in the plan for all 5 years with no pre-existing record of OAG during their first 3 years in the plan. Enrollees were followed for 2 years and we identified those who did and did not get diagnosed with OAG using ICD-9-CM billing codes. For each enrollee we determined how much exposure they had to acupuncture during the first 3 years in the plan. Multivariable logistic regression modelling was performed to determine whether exposure to acupuncture was associated with development of OAG. The regression models were adjusted for demographic factors, ocular and systemic medical comorbidities.


Among the 68669 eligible enrollees, 609 (0.9%) developed incident OAG. A total of 16000 enrollees (23.3%) had ≥ 1 record of acupuncture use. After adjustment for potential confounding factors, enrollees who had ≥ 1 sessions of acupuncture during their first 3 years in plan had no statistically significant difference in the odds of developing OAG (OR = 1.16, 95% CI 0.97-1.38 p=0.11) over the next 2 years relative to others who received no acupuncture during their first 3 years in the plan.


There is no evidence that short term exposure to acupuncture over a period of 3 years leads to a reduction in risk of developing OAG.


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