A recent study used the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) IRIS Registry data to determine that current smokers and past smokers tend to have higher intraocular pressure (IOP) than those who have never smoked. An underlying glaucoma diagnosis in smokers made this difference even greater. However, they also noticed that having glaucoma did not necessarily play a factor in having high IOP at older ages.

The researchers analyzed 12,535,013 patients and assessed the relationship between smoking and IOP with a multivariable linear regression model. After adjusting for adjusting for age, sex, glaucoma, AMD, diabetic retinopathy, cataract, glaucoma surgery, cataract surgery and first-order interactions, they found that current and past smokers had statistically significantly higher IOP by 0.92mm Hg and 0.77mm Hg, respectively, compared with those who never smoked.

The researchers found it interesting that the difference in IOP between current smokers and those who never smoked, regardless of glaucoma status, was the highest among those in their 40s. In this cohort, patients with glaucoma had an average increase of 1.14mm Hg, while those without a history of smoking had an increase of 0.68mm Hg.

Lee CS, Owen JP, Yanagihara RT, et al. Smoking is associated with higher IOP regardless of glaucoma, a retrospective study of 12.5 million patients using the IRIS Registry. Ophthalmol Glaucoma. March 31, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].