Risk Factors for Glaucoma Needing More Attention

Coleman Anne L* , 1 , 2 , Kodjebacheva Gergana1 , 3
1 Jules Stein Eye Institute and the Department of Ophthalmology, David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA), USA
2 Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, UCLA, USA
3 Department of Community Health Sciences, School of Public Health, UCLA, USA

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© Coleman and Kodjebacheva; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Jules Stein Eye Institute, 100 Stein Plaza, Los Angeles, California 90095-7004, USA; Tel: (310) 825- 5298; E-mail:


Glaucoma is defined as a chronic progressive optic neuropathy, for which elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is the only modifiable risk factor. Emerging research indicates that modifiable factors besides IOP may be associated with the presence of glaucoma. In this review, we discuss the role of modifiable determinants, specifically socioeconomic status, nutritional intake, body mass index and obesity, exercise, smoking, and sleep apnea, in the presence of glaucoma. Preliminary studies suggest that associations may exist between these non-inherent factors and glaucoma although research had significant limitations. The mechanisms of influence are unknown or understudied. Research needs to incorporate the broader behavioral and social factors that may affect glaucoma status.