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Purpose: Glaucoma is more common in urban populations than in others. Ninety percent of the world's population are exposed to air pollution above World Health Organization (WHO) recommended limits. Few studies have examined the association between air pollution and glaucoma. Methods: Questionnaire data, ophthalmic measures, and ambient residential area air quality data for 111,370 UK Biobank participants were analyzed. Particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter < 2.5 μm (PM2.5) was selected as the air quality exposure of interest. Eye measures included self-reported glaucoma, intraocular pressure (IOP), and average thickness of macular ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer (GCIPL) across nine Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) retinal subfields as obtained from spectral-domain optical coherence tomography. We examined the associations of PM2.5 concentration with self-reported glaucoma, IOP, and GCIPL. Results: Participants resident in areas with higher PM2.5 concentration were more likely to report a diagnosis of glaucoma (odds ratio = 1.06, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.01-1.12, per interquartile range [IQR] increase P = 0.02). Higher PM2.5 concentration was also associated with thinner GCIPL (β = -0.56 μm, 95% CI = -0.63 to -0.49, per IQR increase, P = 1.2 × 10-53). A dose-response relationship was observed between higher levels of PM2.5 and thinner GCIPL (P < 0.001). There was no clinically relevant relationship between PM2.5 concentration and IOP. Conclusions: Greater exposure to PM2.5 is associated with both self-reported glaucoma and adverse structural characteristics of the disease. The absence of an association between PM2.5 and IOP suggests the relationship may occur through a non-pressure-dependent mechanism, possibly neurotoxic and/or vascular effects.

Original publication

DOI

10.1167/iovs.19-28346

Type

Journal article

Journal

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci

Publication Date

01/11/2019

Volume

60

Pages

4915 - 4923

Keywords

Adult, Aged, Air Pollutants, Air Pollution, Female, Glaucoma, Humans, Intraocular Pressure, Male, Middle Aged, Nerve Fibers, Particulate Matter, Retinal Ganglion Cells, Self Report, Surveys and Questionnaires, Tomography, Optical Coherence, Tonometry, Ocular, Visual Fields