Cocaine Use Associated With Open-Angle Glaucoma

After adjusting for age, illicit drugs, race, association remains significant for men

FRIDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Use of cocaine is significantly associated with open-angle glaucoma, and the association remains significant in men after multivariable adjustment, according to a study published in the September issue of the Journal of Glaucoma.

Dustin D. French, Ph.D., from the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, and colleagues investigated the correlation between cocaine use and open-angle glaucoma. Potential patients were identified from the Veterans Health Administration national clinical database and were included if they had consecutive prescriptions for one or more topical antiglaucoma medications. The International Classification of Disease, Version 9, Clinical Modification codes were used to identify cocaine exposure. After adjustments, the odds of cocaine exposure were compared with the overall outpatient population of national Veterans Health Administration beneficiaries.

The investigators found that both men and women with glaucoma had a significantly increased age-adjusted likelihood of cocaine exposure (odds ratio [OR], 3.52 versus 1.87), which did not differ significantly when assessed according to drug-dependency status. After adjustments for age, other illicit drugs, and race, the results remained significant for men, but not women (OR, 1.45). Participants with substance use disorder and glaucoma were nearly 18 years younger than glaucoma patients without a history of drug exposure.

"This pilot study suggests the use of cocaine and possibly other illicit drugs are predictive of glaucoma," the authors write.

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