Long-term alcohol intake ups risk of exfoliation glaucoma, glaucoma suspect status

05 Feb 2023
Long-term alcohol intake ups risk of exfoliation glaucoma, glaucoma suspect status

Consumption of alcoholic beverage in the long term may contribute to an increased risk of exfoliation glaucoma or glaucoma suspect (XFG/XFGS) status, suggests a US study.

A total of 195,408 participants (aged 40 years) in the Nurses’ Health Study (1980–2018), the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986–2018), and the Nurses’ Health Study II (1991–2019) met the eligibility criteria (ie, free of XFG/XFGS status with available data on diet and ophthalmic examination findings) and were followed every 2 years.

The investigators cumulatively averaged total (primary exposure) and individual alcoholic beverage (eg, beer, wine, and liquor) intakes from validated dietary information every 2‒4 years. They used medical records to confirm incident XFG/XFGS status and per-eye Cox proportional hazards models to estimate multivariate-adjusted relative risks (RRs) and 95 percent confidence intervals (CIs).

Seven hundred five eyes with XFG/XFGS status had been identified over 6,877,823 eye-years of follow-up. Higher total alcohol consumption significantly correlated with greater XFG/XFGS status risk (RR for cumulatively average alcohol consumption of 15 g/day vs nondrinking, 1.55, 95 percent CI, 1.17‒2.07; p=0.02 for trend).

Both short- and long-term alcohol consumption was significantly associated with XFG/XFGS status risk, with the strongest association with cumulatively average alcohol intake as of 4 years before diagnosis (RR ≥15 g/day vs nondrinking, 1.65, 95 percent CI, 1.25‒2.18; p=0.002 for trend).

Compared with nondrinking, alcohol consumption of 3.6 drinks/week significantly correlated with the following XFG/XFGS status risk increase: RR for beer, 1.26, 95 percent CI, 0.89‒1.77; p=0.40 for trend; RR for wine, 1.30, 95 percent CI, 1.00‒1.68; p=0.15 for trend; RR for liquor, 1.46, 95 percent CI, 1.15‒1.85; p=0.01 for trend.

No association was observed with age, latitude, residential tier, or intakes of folate or vitamin A (p>0.40 for interaction). However, the association between alcohol and XFG/XFGS status appeared more robust for individuals with a family history of glaucoma (p=0.10 for interaction).

“Our findings provide further clues regarding the XFG/XFGS aetiology,” the investigators said.

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