Recently, a study published by the journal Maturitas found a link between vitamin D deficiency and the presence, but not the severity of primary open angle glaucoma.
Primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) is a chronic condition in which the pressure in the eye progressively increases, causing a gradual loss of vision. Once vision becomes impaired this damage is irreversible. The etiology behind the development of POAG is not fully understood.
Research suggests an association exists between vitamin D status and visual function in older adults. In fact, enzymes involved in the metabolism of vitamin D have been found in the retina of the eye.
Previous studies have observed a link between vitamin D deficiency and reduced visual clarity, leading researchers to question if there is a relationship between vitamin D status and POAG.
In a recent study, researchers aimed to determine whether POAG patients were deficient in vitamin D, and if disease severity was associated with vitamin D status.
The researchers found that individuals with POAG had 15% lower average vitamin D levels when compared to those without the disease (p = 0.039), as well as a greater frequency of vitamin insufficiency (p = 0.032). Each 4 ng/ml (10 nmol/l) increase in mean 25(OH)D levels was associated with an 11% decreased risk for POAG, which remained consistent after controlling for potential confounding variables. There was a trend but no significant difference observed in vitamin D status between moderate and severe POAG cases (p = 0.188).
The researchers concluded,
“The main finding of the present case-control study is that the group of POAG patients had 15-percent lower serum 25OHD concentrations, and exhibited more often vitamin D insufficiency than controls.”