The association of consumption of fruits/vegetables with decreased risk of glaucoma among older African-American women in the study of osteoporotic fractures

Joann A. Giaconi, Fei Yu, Katie L. Stone, Kathryn L. Pedula, Kristine E. Ensrud, Jane A. Cauley, Marc C. Hochberg, Anne L. Coleman

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47 Scopus citations


Purpose: To explore the association between consumption of fruits and vegetables and the presence of glaucoma in older African-American women. Design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: Disc photographs and suprathreshold visual fields were obtained from the 662 African-American participants in the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures. Masked, trained readers graded all discs, and 2 glaucoma specialists reviewed photographs and visual fields. The Block Food Frequency Questionnaire assessed food consumption. Relationships between selected fruit/vegetable/nutrient consumption and glaucoma were evaluated using logistic regression models after adjusting for potential confounders. Results: After excluding women missing Food Frequency Questionnaire and disc data, 584 African-American women (88.2% of total African-American cohort) were included. Glaucoma was diagnosed in at least 1 eye in 77 subjects (13%). Women who ate 3 or more servings/day of fruits/fruit juices were 79% (odds ratio [OR] = 0.21; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.08-0.60) less likely to have glaucoma than women who ate less than 1 serving/day. Women who consumed more than 2 servings/week of fresh oranges (OR = 0.18; 95% CI: 0.06-0.51) and peaches (OR = 0.30; 95% CI: 0.13-0.67) had a decreased odds of glaucoma compared to those consuming less than 1 serving/week. For vegetables, >1 serving/week compared to ≤1 serving/month of collard greens/kale decreased the odds of glaucoma by 57% (OR = 0.43; 95% CI: 0.21-0.85). There was a protective trend against glaucoma in those consuming more fruit/fruit juices (P =.023), fresh oranges (P =.002), fresh peaches (P =.002), and collard greens/kale (P =.014). Higher consumption of carrots (P =.061) and spinach (P =.094) also showed some associations. Individual nutrient intake from food sources found protective trends with higher intakes of vitamin A (P =.011), vitamin C (P =.018), and α-carotene (P =.021), and close to statistically significant trends with β-carotene (P =.052), folate (P =.056), and lutein/zeaxanthin (P =.077). Conclusion: Higher intake of certain fruits and vegetables high in vitamins A and C and carotenoids may be associated with a decreased likelihood of glaucoma in older African-American women. Randomized controlled trials are needed to determine whether the intake of specific nutrients changes the risk of glaucoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)635-644
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of ophthalmology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
All authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest. Drs Giaconi and Coleman have acted as consultants to Allergan, the last 2 years. This study was supported by a 2006 American Glaucoma Society Physician-Scientist Award to Dr Giaconi, the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland (EY013626-03), and an unrestricted grant from Research to Prevent Blindness , New York, New York, to the Jules Stein Eye Institute and the Center for Eye Epidemiology, Jules Stein Eye Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, California. The Study of Osteoporotic Fractures was supported by Public Health Service research grants from the National Institutes of Health , Bethesda, Maryland ( AG05407 , AR35582 , AG05394 , AR35584 , AR35583 , R01 AG005407 , R01 AG027576-22 , 2 R01 AG005394-22A1 , and 2 R01 AG027574-22A1 ). Involved in design and conduct of study (J.G., F.Y., K.S., K.E., J.C., M.H., A.C.); collection and management of data (J.G., F.Y., K.S., K.P., K.E., J.C., M.H., A.C.); analysis and interpretation of data (J.G., F.Y., A.C.); and preparation (J.G., F.Y., A.C.) and review and approval of the manuscript (J.G., F.Y., K.S., K.P., K.E., J.C., M.H., A.C.). The Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects Research (IRB) approvals were obtained for the continuation of all research activities, including data analysis, for the ongoing prospective cohort study, including sites from UCLA; UCSF; the University of Maryland; the University of Minnesota; Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research Northwest; and the University of Pittsburgh prior to the study. The study was HIPPA compliant, and complied with the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki related to the treatment of human subjects.

Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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