Early menopause increases risk of open-angle glaucoma

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Last Updated: 2001-07-17 14:43:33 EDT (Reuters Health)

WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) – Women who experience early natural menopause have an increased risk of open-angle glaucoma, according to a report in the July 15th issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Dr. Paulus T. V. M. de Jong, of the Netherlands Ophthalmic Research Institute, in Amsterdam, and colleagues assessed the association between age at menopause and open-angle glaucoma among 3078 women at least 55 years of age who participated in the population-based Rotterdam Study. Those who were age 50 or older at menopause served as the reference group.

Seventy-eight women with a natural menopause were diagnosed with open-angle glaucoma, compared with 15 women with an artificial menopause. After adjustment for age and HRT use, women with natural menopause before age 45 had a higher risk of open-angle glaucoma than the reference group, with an odds ratio of 2.6. The odds ratio for women who experienced menopause between the ages of 45 and 49 was 1.1.

Women who had used HRT had a lower risk of open-angle glaucoma, odds ratio 0.54, than those who had not used it. Compared with the reference group, women who experienced natural or artificial menopause before age 45 had a higher risk of having elevated intraocular pressure, with an odds ratio of 1.2. Those who experienced menopause between 45 and 49 years had an odds ratio of 0.8.

"Several biologic mechanisms could explain the association between early menopause and open-angle glaucoma," Dr. de Jong and colleagues say. "It may be assumed that the decrease in estrogen and progesterone levels after menopause may play a key role, and therefore biologic mechanisms influenced by these hormones may be involved."

Am J Epidemiol 2001;154:138-144.

-Westport Newsroom 203 319 2700

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