Heart disease, dyslipidemia and sickle cell trait were linked to an increased risk of heart attack in individuals with open-angle glaucoma. These findings may help identify modifiable risk factors and promote early intervention. Photo: Justin Cole, OD, and Jarett Mazzarella, OD. Click image to enlarge.
New avenues for glaucoma treatment may arise from looking closer at its connection with vascular disease and associated risk factors. In a virtual on-demand session at ARVO 2023 in New Orleans, researchers shared the results of a retrospective, observational clinical study assessing comorbid conditions associated with increased risk of myocardial infarction in patients with open-angle glaucoma.
Drawing from 14 years of longitudinal data from the National Inpatient Sample database, glaucoma patients were separated into cohorts with (n=23,762) and without (n=1,020,610) a hospital admitting diagnosis of myocardial infarction.
The following factors were significantly and independently associated with increased risk of myocardial infarction in open-angle glaucoma: congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, dyslipidemia and sickle cell trait. In only the univariate analysis, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, hypertension and aortic dissection/aneurysm were associated with a significantly increased risk of myocardial infarction in open-angle glaucoma.
“These findings may help identify modifiable risk factors which may be suggestive of interventions that can reduce the risk of myocardial infarction in glaucoma patients,” the abstract noted. “This study also suggests open-angle glaucoma may be a harbinger of early vascular damage in patients with sickle cell trait, which suggests early ophthalmologic screening may be crucial in this patient population.”
Original abstract content © Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology 2023.
Hanover J, Khouri AS. Assessing the risk of myocardial infarction following a diagnosis of open-angle glaucoma. ARVO 2023 annual meeting.