Navigation Links
Excess Weight May Protect Women From Type of Glaucoma

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- While maintaining a healthy weight is linked to a lowered risk of heart disease and diabetes, being overweight may actually protect some women from a form of glaucoma, Harvard researchers say.

This new finding suggests that overweight women may have a lower risk of developing primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), one of the most common age-related eye diseases. In particular, overweight women may be especially protected from a variant of POAG called normal-tension glaucoma, the researchers say.

"While being overweight has many negative health consequences, increased risk of primary open-angle glaucoma was not one of them," said lead researcher Dr. Louis R. Pasquale, director of the Glaucoma Service at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and an associate professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School.

"While this study was a comprehensive assessment of the relation between body shape and glaucoma, it should not lead to recommendations about adopting an ideal body weight to prevent glaucoma," he added.

The report is published in the August issue of Ophthalmology.

For the study, Pasquale's group collected data on 78,777 women in the Nurses' Health Study and 41,352 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.

The researchers found that each unit increase in body mass index (BMI) was associated with a 6 percent lowered risk for normal-tension glaucoma. BMI is a measurement that takes into account a person's height and weight.

In addition, women with a high BMI when they were young also had reduced risk of developing normal-tension glaucoma.

Among men, there was no association between BMI and the risk for POAG, the researchers noted.

Since most of those in the study were white Europeans, these findings may be limited to similar patients, they added.

Glaucoma is a potentially blinding illness that damages the optic nerve. Increased pressure in the eye is linked to optic nerve damage. Effective treatments to control eye pressure are available. But in people with normal-tension glaucoma, optic nerve damage happens even though their eye pressure is not high, the researchers noted.

"There is no stereotypical body shape associated with primary open-angle glaucoma, but the negative relation we found between body mass index and the normal-tension variant of primary open-angle glaucoma in women may give some clues regarding eye-pressure independent mechanisms of optic nerve deterioration in this disease," Pasquale said.

"We postulate that fatty tissue in the body may release hormonally related signals that help prevent optic nerve deterioration in glaucoma," he said.

Dr. Krishna S. Kishor, an assistant professor of clinical ophthalmology at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said usually there is a connection between being overweight and increased eye pressure and a loose correlation between glaucoma and diabetes, which often affect the obese.

"But in overweight women some hormones may be binding with the retina and may be protecting these women from getting glaucoma," he said.

However, Kishor is cautious and thinks more research is needed to see if this correlation holds true. For example, blacks, who are more susceptible to glaucoma, were not well-represented in the study, he noted. In addition, these data were self-reported, which is not always accurate, he added.

In any case, people should not put on weight in hopes of preventing glaucoma, Kishor said. "Don't gain weight thinking that it might somehow protect you," he said.

More information

For more information on glaucoma, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Louis R. Pasquale, M.D., director, Glaucoma Service, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and associate professor , ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Krishna S. Kishor, M.D., assistant professor, clinical ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; August 2010, Ophthalmology

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Excess Weight in Older Women Linked to Diminished Memory
2. Fewer Excess Pounds May Mean Fewer Hot Flashes
3. Study shows a possible link between preschoolers cavities and excess body fat
4. High-school seniors with excessive daytime sleepiness have an increased risk of depression
5. Excessive alcohol consumption may lead to increased cancer risk
6. Les Consquences De La Pche Excessive Sur l'environnement -- Un Documentaire Sur La Disparition Du Thon Rouge
7. Excessive Weight Gain During Pregnancy Raises Gestational Diabetes Risk
8. Weight Gain Eroding Americans Quality of Life
9. Low Carb-, Low-Fat Diets Tied for Long-Term Weight Loss
10. Study: Weight issues move up need for walkers, canes, other devices
11. Complications From Weight-Loss Surgery Relatively Low
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Excess Weight May Protect Women From Type of Glaucoma
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by Whole Health ... the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from Chinese herbs ... Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract and Rehmannia ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan to not ... comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately achieving a ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, ... Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. ... skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can easily customize ... Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn pictures into ... Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text in the ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong ... Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. ... to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016   Bay Area Lyme ... Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness , ... Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, University of California, Berkeley, ... announced the five finalists of Lyme Innovation ... More than 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  American Respiratory Labs (ARL), a ... now able to perform sophisticated lung assessments in patients, homes, thanks ... Inc. Patients are no longer limited to having ... PRO ® , ARL patients like Jeanne R. of ... the comfort of her own home. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016  Arkis BioSciences, a leading ... and more durable cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today announced ... Series-A funding is led by Innova Memphis, followed ... other private investors.  Arkis, new financing will accelerate ... the market release of its in-licensed Endexo® technology. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: