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Diabetes linked to higher glaucoma risk for women
Last Updated: 2006-07-14 16:07:12 -0400                                     By *****

NEW YORK - Women with type 2 diabetes apparently run an increased risk of developing glaucoma, the eye condition characterized by increased internal pressure that can lead to blindness if left untreated. The finding comes from an analysis of data from more than 76,000 participants in the Nurses' Health Study. "The study supports the notion that type 2 diabetes is associated with an increased risk of glaucoma," lead author Dr. Louis R. Pasquale, from Harvard Medical School in Boston, said in a statement.
"While obesity fuels the type 2 diabetes epidemic, it appears that factors unrelated to obesity contribute to the positive association between type 2 diabetes and glaucoma," Pasquale added. "We were surprised to find this." The women in the study were at least 40 years of age and free of glaucoma when the study began in 1980. The participants were followed until 2000, according to the report, published in the journal Ophthalmology.
During the study period, 429 women were diagnosed with glaucoma.
After accounting for weight, physical activity, age, and other possible risk factors, the researchers found that having type 2 diabetes was associated with an 82 percent higher risk of developing glaucoma. The risk was actually higher in women who had diabetes for 5 years or less than for those with long-standing disease.
"Our work suggests, but in no way proves, that factors other than lifestyle behavior contributing to insulin resistance could lead to elevated intraocular pressure and glaucoma," Pasquale concluded.

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