A prospective study of diabetes, lifestyle factors, and glaucoma among African-American women

Ann Epidemiol. 2011 Jun;21(6):430-9. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2011.03.006.


Purpose: To evaluate the association of self-reported type 2 diabetes, anthropometric factors, alcohol consumption, and cigarette smoking with risk of primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) in a prospective cohort study of African-American women.

Methods: From 1995 through 2007, 32,570 Black Women's Health Study participants aged 21 to 69 years at baseline were followed for incident POAG. Questionnaires were mailed biennially to update exposures and identify incident cases of POAG. Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were derived from Cox regression models.

Results: During 416,171 person-years of follow-up, 366 incident POAG cases were confirmed by physician report. After adjustment for potential confounders, the IRR comparing women with and without type 2 diabetes was 1.58 (95% CI, 1.17-2.13), and the IRR comparing current with never alcohol consumers was 1.35 (95% CI, 1.05-1.73). Among women younger than 50, associations with diabetes and alcohol consumption were stronger, and POAG was significantly associated with body mass index, waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, and both long-duration and high-intensity current smoking.

Conclusions: These results suggest that type 2 diabetes and current alcohol consumption are independent risk factors for POAG among African-American women, and that in addition to those factors, overall and central adiposity and smoking may be associated with increased risk of early-onset POAG.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anthropometry
  • Black or African American*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / epidemiology
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / etiology*
  • Health Behavior / ethnology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult