September 2016
Volume 57, Issue 12
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
The Association Between Glaucoma and Chocolate Consumption
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Monica Chen
    Ophthalmology, UCLA, Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Victoria L Tseng
    Ophthalmology, UCLA, Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Xiang Lu
    Ophthalmology, UCLA, Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Fei Yu
    Ophthalmology, UCLA, Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Anne L Coleman
    Ophthalmology, UCLA, Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Monica Chen, None; Victoria Tseng, None; Xiang Lu, None; Fei Yu, None; Anne Coleman, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  Hintz and Research to Prevent Blindness
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science September 2016, Vol.57, 2578. doi:
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      Monica Chen, Victoria L Tseng, Xiang Lu, Fei Yu, Anne L Coleman; The Association Between Glaucoma and Chocolate Consumption. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):2578. doi:

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

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Purpose : Increasing evidence indicates that natural compounds with antioxidative value such as gingko biloba, red wine, and dark chocolate have beneficial effects in glaucoma treatment. The objective of this study is to evaluate the association between chocolate consumption and glaucoma in participants of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

Methods : This cross-sectional study included participants in the NHANES database from 2005-2006 with frequency doubling technology visual field results, optic disc photos, and chocolate candy consumption. Information regarding age, gender, race, smoking, alcohol use, BMI, exercise, and diabetes were also obtained. The exposure of interest was frequency of chocolate candy consumption. The outcome of interest was a clinical diagnosis of glaucoma based on the Rotterdam criteria. Logistic regression modeling was performed to assess the association between chocolate candy consumption and glaucoma, while controlling for baseline demographics and comorbidities described above. All estimates were weighted by the multistage NHANES sampling design.

Results : There were 64 (5.05%) glaucoma cases in 1267 participants who met the inclusion criteria in the study sample, representing a population weighted glaucoma prevalence of 3.25%. The overall population weighted chocolate candy consumption was 21.4% <6x/year, 19.3% 1x/month, 28.7% 1x/week, and 30.6% >1x/week. In the unadjusted model, there was a trend for reduced glaucoma prevalence with increasing chocolate candy consumption and statistically significant association in the group with highest chocolate consumption: compared to consuming <6x/year, 1x/month (odds ratio [OR] = 0.71; 95% CI = 0.25, 2.03), 1x/week (OR = 0.43; 95% CI = 0.18, 1.02), and >1x/week (OR = 0.54; 95% CI = 0.31, 0.94). In the fully adjusted model, the trend was weakened: compared to consuming <6x/year, 1x/month (OR = 0.89; 95% CI = 0.28, 2.78), 1x/week (OR = 0.63; 95% CI = 0.23, 1.73), and >1x/week (OR = 0.75; 95% CI = 0.34, 1.68). In the non-hispanic black subgroup, there was a statistically significant association between glaucoma and consuming chocolate candy >1x/week compared to consuming candy <6x/year (OR = .28; 95% CI = 0.083, 0.95).

Conclusions : There may be a protective effect between chocolate consumption and glaucoma in the non-hispanic black population. Further study is needed to elucidate the role of chocolate consumption and glaucoma.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.


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