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Mark W. Swanson; Glaucoma and Serum Vitamin Level. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):5042.
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Serum vitamin levels have been associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related disorders that share risk factors with glaucoma. Little work is available evaluating possible associations between glaucoma and serum vitamin levels. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) is conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics in continuous two year cycles. As a component of the survey a subset population over age 40 was evaluated in mobile clinics and had laboratory assessment of a variety of biochemical markers.
Exploratory analyses were carried out using data from the 2005-2006 NHANES evaluating the association of self reported glaucoma (SRG) and vertical cup disc ratio (VCDR) from digital photography to serum levels of vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D and E. Regression analyses accounted for the complex sample design and extrapolated to the US population.
Higher mean serum levels for vitamin A (p=.0001) and vitamin E (p=<.0001) were found among those self-reporting glaucoma compared to the general population. Levels of vitamins B6, B12, C and D were not associated with SRG. After controlling for age, race, and reported supplement use increasing vitamin A (p=.0035) level remained associated with SRG while vitamin E(p=.09) was no longer significant. No association between VCDR and concentrations of vitamins A, B6, B12, C and E were found. Lower concentrations of vitamin D were associated with both VCDR and VCDR above the 97.5th population percentile in each eye. In multivariate analyses controlling for age, race and reported supplement use lower vitamin D remained associated with VCDR and VCDR above the 97.5th population percentile.
Higher vitamin A levels are associated with SRG even after controlling for vitamin supplement use. Data suggest that levels of vitamin D are associated with VCDR and may represent an additional glaucoma risk factor.
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