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Amer Alsoudi, Abeba Giorgis, Abiye Mulugeta, Tadesse Tesfaye, Mhretab Zeru, Jeremy Keenan; Evaluating Skin Pigmentation as a Risk Factor for Glaucoma.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(7):42.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The African Caribbean Eye Survey and Barbados Eye Study both implicated darker skin pigmentation as a risk factor for glaucoma. Skin color was based on subjective observation by two ophthalmologists. Whether this association would be present using a more objective measure of skin pigmentation is unclear. Investigating this question was the purpose this study.
A case-control study was conducted at Menelik II Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Cases were enrolled from a glaucoma clinic among patients scheduled for trabeculectomy and age-matched controls without glaucoma were drawn from other clinics at Menelik Hospital. Skin pigmentation measurements were taken in triplicate with a Dermacatch device on the forehead (i.e., sun-exposed) and inner arm (i.e., sun-unexposed).
Agreement between the triplicate measurements was high; the intra-class correlation (ICC) for triplicate inner arm melanin values was 0.99 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.98-0.99). The intra-class correlation (ICC) for triplicate forehead melanin values was 0.95 (95% CI, 0.93-0.96). Agreement between inner arm and forehead measurements for the same person was moderate; the ICC for melanin measurements between the two locations was 0.58 (95% CI, 0.48-0.66). Further, the ICC for triplicate forehead and inner arm erythema values were 0.55 (95% CI, 0.48-0.63) and 0.70 (95% CI, 0.64-0.75), respectively. Agreement between inner arm and forehead measurements for the same person was moderate; the ICC for erythema measurements between the two locations was 0.44 (95% CI, 0.33-0.55). After adjusting for sex and date of measurement, the odds of glaucoma was 1.05 (95% CI, 0.70-1.59) odds higher per 100 units of inner arm melanin, and 1.16 (95% CI, 0.66-2.06) odds higher per 100 units of forehead melanin (P=0.54 and P=0.04, respectively).
This study failed to find a significant association between skin pigmentation and glaucoma using an objective and reproducible assessment of pigmentation.
This is a 2020 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.
Figure 1. Melanin estimate of the inner arm and forehead among cases and controls
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