Thyroid Problems Linked to Glaucoma 2002 Study


Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham believe that thyroid disorders may increase the risk of glaucoma. Their study, published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, reviewed data from the 2002 National Health Interview Survey to quantify the association between a self-reported diagnosis of glaucoma and a self-reported history of thyroid problems.

Of the 12,376 survey participants, 4.6% reported glaucoma, and 11.9% reported a history of thyroid problems. The prevalence of glaucoma among those who reported thyroid problems was 6.5% compared with 4.4% among those who did not report thyroid problems. This association between glaucoma and thyroid problems remained after adjusting for differences in age, gender, race and smoking status.

The results of this study lend support to the hypothesis that thyroid disorders may increase the risk of glaucoma. Although further research on the topic is expected, study authors suspect that hypothyroidism may diminish outflow in the eye.

SOURCE: The association between thyroid problems and glaucoma, Cross, et al, British Journal of Ophthalmology 2008;92:1503-1505.