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P. Newman-Casey, J. D. Stein, L. M. Niziol, B. Gillespie, D. C. Musch; The Association Between Glaucoma and Death. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):429.
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To evaluate whether various types of glaucoma are associated with an increased risk for death in a large, diverse group of patients with glaucoma or suspected glaucoma living in the community. Previous observational studies and randomized, controlled trials typically assessing only patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG)---have yielded conflicting findings regarding whether such an association exists.
Billing codes were used to identify all patients in a large, U.S. managed care network with a diagnosis of glaucoma or suspected glaucoma during 2003-2007. Beneficiaries were followed longitudinally for up to 5 years until they died or left the medical plan. Cox regression analysis was performed to estimate the hazard for death associated with various types of glaucoma, after adjustment for demographic characteristics, medical and surgical treatment for glaucoma, and comorbid medical conditions.
Of 24,852 patients in the database who had glaucoma or suspected glaucoma, 239 (1.0%) died during the study period. Using those with a diagnosis of suspected glaucoma as the reference group, the likelihood of death was elevated among patients with a diagnosis of POAG (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 1.54 [95% CI, 1.16--2.06]) or neovascular glaucoma (adjusted HR, 7.72 [CI, 3.51--16.99]). Other types of glaucoma were not significantly associated with mortality.
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