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Outside temperatures, sun exposure and gender may trigger glaucoma
Date:12/31/2011

BOSTON (Jan. 1, 2012) When it comes to whether or not you will develop exfoliation syndrome (ES) -- an eye condition that is a leading cause of secondary open-angle glaucoma and increased risk of cataract as well as cataract surgery complications -- age, gender and where you live does matter.

"Although many studies from around the world have reported on the burden of the disease, some aspects of the basic descriptive epidemiologic features, which may help shed light on the cause, are inconsistent," said Louis Pasquale, M.D., study co-author and director of Massachusetts Eye and Ear's Glaucoma Center of Excellence. "In this study we found that women are more vulnerable to this disease then men, that ES is not a disease of Norwegian descent, and that where you live does matter when it comes to developing the disease."

Researchers from the Mass. Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., Department of Medicine, Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass., Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich., set out to find out how demographic and geographic risk factors are associated with ES. Their study, the "Demographic and Geographic Features of Exfoliation Glaucoma in two United States-Based Prospective Cohorts" are published in the January 2012 issue of Ophthalmology.

Researchers used data from 78,955 women in the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) and 41,191 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS) residing throughout the continental United States who were prospectively followed for 20 years or more and who provided lifetime residence information to examine the descriptive epidemiologic features of ES or exfoliation glaucoma suspect (EGS).

This study confirmed established associations with age and family history and exfoliation glaucoma or exfoliation glaucoma suspect (EG/EGS), as well as provided new data on associations with gender
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Contact: Mary Leach
Mary_Leach@meei.harvard.edu
617-573-4170
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
Source:Eurekalert

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