May 2006
Volume 47, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2006
Prospective Study of Alcohol Consumption and Risk of Primary Open–Angle Glaucoma
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • L.R. Pasquale
    Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School / Mass Eye & Ear Infirmary, Boston, MA
  • S.E. Hankinson
    Department of Medicine, Channing Laboratory / Brigham & Women's Hospital, Boston, MA
  • W.C. Willett
    Department of Epidemiology,
    Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
  • B.A. Rosner
    Department of Biostatistics,
    Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
  • G. Colditz
    Department of Medicine, Channing Laboratory / Brigham & Women's Hospital, Boston, MA
  • J.H. Kang
    Department of Medicine, Channing Laboratory / Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  L.R. Pasquale, None; S.E. Hankinson, None; W.C. Willett, None; B.A. Rosner, None; G. Colditz, None; J.H. Kang, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  NIH Grant EY015473
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2006, Vol.47, 3440. doi:
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      L.R. Pasquale, S.E. Hankinson, W.C. Willett, B.A. Rosner, G. Colditz, J.H. Kang; Prospective Study of Alcohol Consumption and Risk of Primary Open–Angle Glaucoma . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):3440.

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

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Purpose: : To study the relation between alcohol consumption and incident primary open–angle glaucoma (POAG).

Methods: : We followed female nurses and male health professionals prospectively from 1980 and 1986 respectively, up to 2002. Eligible participants were at least 40 years old, did not have POAG at baseline, and reported receiving eye examinations during follow–up. Alcohol consumption and POAG risk factors were updated using biennial questionnaires. Both cohort–specific proportional hazards analyses and analyses pooled across cohorts were conducted to calculate multivariable rate ratios (RR) of POAG and associated 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). During 1 515 693 person–years of follow–up, we identified 856 self–reported POAG cases confirmed by medical chart review.

Results: : After controlling for age, race, hypertension, body mass index (BMI), physical activity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, smoking and family history of glaucoma, low (<10 gm/day; RR=1.01 [95% CI: 0.84–1.21]) and moderate alcohol consumption (10 – 20 gm/day; RR=0.97 [95% CI: 0.77–1.23] and 20–30 gm/day; RR=0.95 [95% CI: 0.68–1.32]) were not associated with altered risk of POAG compared to non–drinkers in pooled analyses. Compared to non–drinkers, there was a modest inverse association between high alcohol consumption (> 30 g/day or > 2 drinks/day) and POAG [RR=0.70 (95% CI: 0.48 – 1.02); P for trend =0.07] that was borderline significant. There were no significant differences in risk of POAG according to the type of alcoholic beverage consumed (beer, liquor, red wine and white wine). In secondary analyses, to evaluate the potential for detection bias, we controlled for additional factors such as the number of eye exams but this did not change the results.

Conclusions: : Our data suggests that low–to–moderate alcohol consumption does not influence the risk of POAG but high alcohol consumption may be associated with a reduced risk of POAG. Consuming moderate to high quantities of alcohol needs to be balanced against the potential health dangers.

Keywords: clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: risk factor assessment 

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