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  • OAG May Not Raise the Risk of Dementia

    By Lynda Seminara
    Selected By: Prem S. Subramanian, MD, PhD

    Journal Highlights

    Journal of Glaucoma
    Published online Dec. 29, 2020

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    Although studies have shown that dementia risk is higher for people with open-angle glaucoma (OAG), the true relationship between these diseases is still poorly understood. In a retrospec­tive population-based study of patients with OAG, Belamkar et al. found that the 10-year probability of dementia actually was lower for these patients than for the population at large.

    The study included 509 residents of Olmstead County, Minnesota; all had OAG diagnosed during a 36-year period. The cumulative risk of de­mentia development was calculated for these patients and compared with that of the general U.S. population. The authors used data from an earlier study in residents of the same county to identify patients with OAG, which in­cluded primary OAG, normal-tension glaucoma, pseudoexfoliative glaucoma, pigmentary glaucoma, and treated ocular hypertension. Demographic data and comorbidities were recorded. Kaplan-Meier methods were applied to estimate the cumulative risk of devel­oping dementia or Alzheimer disease (AD), and Cox proportional hazard models were used to identify potential risk factors.

    The median age of the study popula­tion was 67.5 years; the majority were white (98%) and female (59%). Demen­tia or AD developed in 118 (23%) of the 509 participants. AD was the pre­dominant type of dementia (n = 99). The mean age at OAG diagnosis was 74.9 years for those with dementia and 65.0 years for those without dementia. The 10-year cumulative probability was 12.0% for all types of dementia and 9.9% for AD. These values are significantly lower than expected for the general U.S. population (expected incidence for both, 19.0%). Prospective studies in a more geographically and ethnically diverse population should be considered to strengthen these findings.

    The original article can be found here.