Is vitamin D status associated with open-angle glaucoma? A cross-sectional study from South Korea

Public Health Nutr. 2014 Apr;17(4):833-43. doi: 10.1017/S1368980013003492. Epub 2014 Jan 10.


Objective: Open-angle glaucoma (OAG) is one of the major chronic diseases involving the optic nerve. However, little is known about the association between vitamin D and OAG. The present study was conducted to test the hypothesis that lower vitamin D status is associated with greater prevalence of OAG.

Design: Cross-sectional study. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to examine the relationship between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and OAG after adjusting for traditional potential confounders. OAG was defined by the criteria of the International Society for Geographical and Epidemiological Ophthalmology.

Setting: The Fifth Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted in 2010-2011.

Subjects: Six thousand and ninety-four adult participants randomly selected from 192 surveys in 131 locations in South Korea.

Results: Multivariable-adjusted odds ratios of OAG across quintiles of decreasing 25(OH)D were 1.26, 1.00 (reference), 1.31, 1.36 and 1.69 (P for quadratic trend <0.01). The odds ratio for the lowest 25(OH)D quintile was significantly higher than that for the second quintile (P < 0.01). In addition, we discovered that the predictors for worsening of OAG, such as intraocular pressure or vertical and horizontal cup-to-disc ratios, had a significant relationship with 25(OH)D level.

Conclusions: There was a reverse J-shaped association between 25(OH)D levels and the risk of OAG, with significantly elevated risk at lower 25(OH)D. The findings of this research suggest that vitamin D deficiency should be considered as a potential risk factor for the development of OAG. To our knowledge, the present study is the first one that shows an association between vitamin D status and OAG.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Asian People
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Republic of Korea
  • Risk Factors
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin D / blood*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology*


  • Vitamin D