Week in review: Cardiovascular disease and RNFL thinning, polycystic ovary syndrome linked to uveitis, IOP lowers with age

Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Glaucoma, Retina/Vitreous, Uveitis

A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.

Cardiovascular events may be predicted by changes in the retinal nerve fiber layer. Based on data from more than 25,000 patients in the UK Biobank who had spectral-domain OCT imaging of the macular retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL), each 5-µm reduction in macular RNFL thickness was associated with an 8% higher risk of incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) over a median follow-up duration of 7.7 years, even after adjusting for age, sex, fasting glucose, and other factors. These results were validated in a cohort from the Chinese Guangzhou Diabetes Eye Study, in which a lower average baseline peripapillary RNFL thickness increased the odds of CVD (odds ratio 1.35). BMC Medicine

Do you have polycystic ovary syndrome? You may be at greater risk for developing uveitis. In the 2039 women of reproductive age with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) included in the 2002–2013 South Korean National Health Insurance Service-National Sample Cohort (N = 558,302), the rate of noninfectious uveitis (NIU) was 35.1 per 10,000 person-years, significantly higher than the incidence rate of 16.6 per 10,000 person years in the non-PCOS cohort. Risk factors for developing NIU included older age, higher income, and the comorbidities of juvenile idiopathic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. The authors recommend further investigation of the pathogenesis of PCOS and NIU, particularly the potential role of female sex hormones in NIU development. Scientific Reports

In a Japanese population, IOP was found to decrease as people aged. A 9-year longitudinal cohort study of 10,471 Japanese participants without glaucoma (mean age 52.7 years) investigated how age and systemic factors might be associated with changes in IOP.  Intraocular pressure decreased by −0.08 mm Hg per year, a significant change. Older age and higher calcium and hemoglobin levels were linked to IOP decreases, while female sex and higher white and red blood cell counts were linked to IOP increases. The authors suggest that lifestyle interventions such as increasing calcium intake might help in keeping IOP low, but “a further study would be needed to investigate the effect of changing life habitat on IOP trend.” Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science

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