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L. Q. Shen, M. Gonzalez, F. Yu, A. Bhat, A. Marvasti, M. Sami, S. K. Law, J. Caprioli, A. L. Coleman; Relative Deficiency of Vitamins May Be Associated With Primary Open Angle Glaucoma. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):2071.
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To evaluate whether patients with primary open angle glaucoma may be relatively deficient in dietary intake or serum levels of certain vitamins.
A case-control study was conducted at the Jules Stein Eye Institute, UCLA. Case subjects were patients with primary open angle glaucoma. Control subjects were patients and family members without glaucomatous optic neuropathy. Exclusion criteria included visual acuity worse than 20/40, history of smoking, and excessive vitamin intake other than a multivitamin per day. Both case and control subjects underwent complete ophthalmic evaluation including gonioscopy, visual field testing and disc imaging to establish the diagnosis. Dietary intake of vitamins was assessed by the 2005 Block Food Frequency Questionnaire. Serum levels of certain vitamins were measured at the UCLA clinical laboratory.
At the time of abstract submission, there were 52 case subjects and 19 control subjects enrolled in the study. The two groups were similar in baseline characteristics, such as age, gender, ethnicity, body mass index, visual acuity, intraocular pressure and central corneal thickness. There was no statistically significant difference in dietary intake of vitamins A, C, E, riboflavin, folic acid, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and lutein. The serum levels of alpha-carotene and lutein were significantly lower in the glaucoma group compared to the control subjects, with medians of 38 µg/L versus 106 µg/L (p=0.044) for alpha carotene, and medians of 111 µg/L versus 189 µg/L (p=0.043) for lutein. The serum levels of vitamins A, E, riboflavin and beta-carotene were not significantly different in the two groups.
The preliminary data suggest that patients with primary open angle glaucoma may have a relative deficiency of certain vitamins compared to unaffected subjects. This study supports further investigation regarding the role of vitamins in the management of glaucoma.
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