Glaucoma incidence may be associated with various modifiable lifestyle choices including overweight and obesity, the time during which meals are consumed, and alcohol consumption, according to the results of a study published in Eye. 

Investigators used an administrative claims database to retrospectively enroll participants (N=3,110,743; mean age, 44.4 years; 67.1% men) who had received annual health checkups between 2005 and 2020. The team included individuals with available data pertaining to body mass index (BMI), smoking and drinking status, eating and exercise habits, and sleep quality and excluded patients who had pre-existing glaucoma. During a more than 5.5-year follow-up period, the researchers examined associations between glaucoma incidence (a dispensing record of antiglaucoma eye drops) and these modifiable lifestyle choices. 

Overall, glaucoma incidence occurred in 39,975 participants. Variables increasing glaucoma risk included overweight and obesity (hazard ratio [HR], 1.04; 95% CI, 1.02-1.07), alcohol intake of 2.5 units per day (unit: amount of alcohol processed by the average adult in 1 hour) or more, not consuming breakfast (HR, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.10-1.17), having a late dinner (HR, 1.05; 95% CI, 1.03-1.08), and walking daily for 1 hour (HR, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.11-1.16).   

Continue Reading

Although high alcohol intake increased the risk of glaucoma incidence, occasional and daily consumption reduced this risk in men compared with individuals who rarely consumed alcohol (HR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.92-0.99 and HR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.87-0.94, respectively). Regularly engaging in exercise also limited glaucoma risk (HR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.90-0.95).  

The study authors acknowledge that the association between these modifiable lifestyle risk factors and glaucoma incidence is not well understood. 

“Our findings may be useful for promoting glaucoma prophylaxis and have the potential to reduce the social burden associated with glaucoma,” according to the researchers. 

Study limitations include the potential for recall bias and homogeneity among the cohort, which may limit the globalization of these findings.


Fujita A, Hashimoto Y, Matsui H, Yasunaga H, Aihara M. Association between lifestyle habits and glaucoma incidence: a retrospective cohort studyEye (Lond). Published online April 19, 2023. doi:10.1038/s41433-023-02535-7

This article originally appeared on Optometry Advisor