Obese women have reduced risk of developing the eye disease, open-angle glaucoma, according to a new study.
"Open-angle glaucoma is a chronic eye disease characterized by glaucomatous optic neuropathy and corresponding glaucomatous visual field loss," the authors said.
Wishal D. Ramdas, of the Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues examined data from 3,939 participants in the Rotterdam Study.
This population-based study included participants 55 years of age and older living in a suburb of Rotterdam, who did not have open-angle glaucoma when the study began between 1991 and 1993.
Over an average of 9.7 years of follow-up, 108 participants developed open-angle glaucoma. Those who developed the condition were significantly older; more often had high myopia (severe nearsightedness) and were more often male, compared with those who did not.
No statistically significant effect of socioeconomic status, smoking or alcohol intake was found on the development of open-angle glaucoma.
Among women, there was a significant association between increased body mass index and intraocular pressure.
However, each one-unit increase in body mass index was associated with a 7 percent decreased risk of developing open-angle glaucoma. These associations were not present in men.
The study was published online today and will appear in the May issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.