Patients with Retinitis Pigmentosa May Have a Higher Risk of Developing Open-Angle Glaucoma

J Ophthalmol. 2022 Jun 22:2022:9719095. doi: 10.1155/2022/9719095. eCollection 2022.


Background: Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is the most common retinal hereditary dystrophy, which can lead to blindness if it progresses. Similarly, open-angle glaucoma (OAG) is a genetic disorder. The similarities in genetic variants and pathophysiology between RP and OAG have been reported. We sought to explore whether patients with RP have a significantly higher risk of OAG development.

Methods: We enrolled patients with RP into the RP group through Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database from 2001 to 2013; we included a comparison group of 1 : 4 age- and gender-matched individuals without RP. We performed a Cox regression analysis to estimate the crude and adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for OAG. We adjusted the following confounders in the Cox regression model: age, gender, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and chronic kidney disease.

Results: We enrolled 6,223 subjects with RP and 24,892 subjects for comparison. The mean age of the cohort was 49.0 ± 18.1 years. The RP group had significantly higher percentages of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and hyperlipidaemia. The cumulative incidence of OAG in patients with RP was 1.57%; this was significantly higher than that in the comparison group (0.58%, p < 0.0001). On univariate Cox regression analysis, the hazard of OAG development was significantly greater in the RP group than in the comparison group with an unadjusted HR of 2.86 (95% confidence interval, 2.21-3.70). The increased risk persisted after adjusting for confounders (adjusted HR = 2.86; 95% CI, 2.21-3.70).

Conclusions: This nationwide population-based cohort study showed that people with RP are at a significantly greater risk of developing OAG than individuals without it.