• Exercise Intensity and Glaucoma

    By Jean Shaw
    Selected By: Henry D. Jampel, MD, MHS

    Journal Highlights

    Ophthalmology Glaucoma, October 2020

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    As the impact of exercise intensity on glaucoma has been poorly understood, Tseng et al. set out to examine this issue in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) population. They found that increased exercise intensity is associated with decreased odds of glaucoma.

    For this retrospective cross-sectional study, the researchers evaluated adult participants (age 40 and older) of the 2005-2006 NHANES. Exercise intensity was assessed via objective and subjective measures (accelerometer readings and questionnaire responses, respectively). Glaucoma was characterized with two definitions, based on 1) the Rotterdam criteria and on 2) an ophthalmologist’s grading of optic disc photos. Logistic regression was performed to assess associations between exercise intensity and glaucoma while controlling for co­variates; the latter included age, gender, ethnicity, blood pressure, body mass index, and spherical equivalent.

    The study included a sample of 1,387 NHANES participants; of these, 68 (4.9%) had glaucoma based on Rotterdam criteria, while seven (0.5%) had glaucoma based on image grading. After adjusting for covariates, each 10-count increase in accelerometer intensity was associated with a 5% to 10% decreased adjusted odds of glau­coma.

    With regard to subjective reporting of exercise, when the Rotterdam criteria were used, participants who reported that they spent more of the day stand­ing or walking had a 58% decreased adjusted odds of glaucoma than did those who spent more of the day sitting. In addition, when graded disc images were used, those who reported mod­erate levels of vigorous activity had a 95% decreased prevalence of glaucoma compared to those who reported no vigorous activity.

    This study is limited by its obser­vational nature, the authors noted. Further population-based studies of associations between different aspects of exercise and the development or progression of glaucoma are warranted.

    The original article can be found here.