Glaucoma may be linked to depression

September 6, 2012
Ophthalmology Times Staff Reports

Glaucoma may be a significant predictor of depression, according to research published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

San Francisco-Ophthalmologists should be aware of the potential for patients with glaucoma also to have depression.

In a study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology, Shan C. Lin, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF); Kuldev Singh, MD, MPH, of Stanford University and a member of Ophthalmology Times’ Editorial Advisory Board; and Sophia Y. Wang of UCSF sought to explore how prevalent depression is among patients with glaucoma and the risk factors for depression among those with the eye disease.

Their cross-sectional study included 6,760 participants, all of whom were aged at least 40 years. The investigators obtained data via interviews, the Visual Function Questionnaire, visual acuity examination, fundus photography, and visual field testing with screening frequency-doubling technology. The main outcome, depression, was measured by the Patient Health Questionnaire-9.

Eleven percent of participants with glaucoma had depression; 7% of those without glaucoma had depression. These researchers found that glaucoma is a significant predictor of depression after adjusting for demographic factors and multiple co-morbidities. When they adjusted for self-reported general health condition, however, they found that glaucoma was not a predictor of depression.

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