Autofluorescence of Skin Advanced Glycation End Products as a Risk Factor for Open Angle Glaucoma: The ALIENOR Study

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2018 Jan 1;59(1):75-84. doi: 10.1167/iovs.17-22316.


Purpose: To analyze the association between skin autofluorescence (sAF), estimating tissue accumulation of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), and open angle glaucoma (OAG) in an elderly population.

Methods: The Antioxydants, Lipides Essentiels, Nutrition and maladies OculaiRes (ALIENOR) study is an on-going epidemiologic population-based study on age-related eye diseases. In 2009 to 2010, 624 subjects, aged 74 years or older, were recruited. All subjects underwent a complete eye examination, including optic disc color photography and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) examination. Sociodemographic and medical history data were collected using standardized questionnaires. Glaucoma diagnosis was made using optic nerve head retinophotography and International Society for Epidemiologic and Geographical Ophthalmology criteria. sAF was measured with a noninvasive autofluorescence reader in 467 subjects.

Results: Of subjects, 455 had complete data, 424 were classified as controls, and 31 classified as OAG. Mean age was 82.3 ± 4.3 years, mean and median sAF were 2.8 ± 0.7 and 2.7 arbitrary units (AU), respectively. In a multivariate analysis, higher sAF values (≥2.7 AU) were associated with OAG (odds ratio [OR] = 2.28, 95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 1.03; 5.04). Other variables significantly associated with OAG were age (OR = 1.10, 95%CI: 1.00; 1.21), glaucoma family history (OR = 2.83, 95%CI: 1.14; 7.01) and smoking (1-20 pack-years [OR = 3.31, 95%CI: 1.18; 9.26]; ≥20 pack-years [OR = 3.85, 95%CI: 1.42; 10.46]).

Conclusions: Higher level of sAF, which may act as a long-term biomarker of metabolic memory, and smoking are independently associated with an increased risk of glaucoma. Long-term accumulation of AGEs, a marker of oxidative stress, could play a role in the pathogenesis of glaucomatous chronic optic neuropathy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Female
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / diagnosis
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / metabolism*
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Skin / metabolism*
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / methods*


  • Biomarkers
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced