A lower blood manganese level and higher blood mercury level were associated with greater odds of a glaucoma diagnosis, according to a study.
Dr. Shan C. Lin from the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues investigated the relationship between body levels of five trace metals (manganese, mercury, lead, cadmium, and arsenic) and the prevalence of glaucoma. Blood or urine metallic element levels and information pertaining to ocular disease were available for 2,680 individuals (19 years and older) participating in the fourth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between January 2008 and December 2009, the second and the third years of the survey (2007-2009). A representative sample of the South Korean population was included.
After adjustment for potential confounders, analyses indicated that lower blood manganese levels and higher blood mercury levels were associated with greater glaucoma prevalence. No association was found between blood lead or cadmium levels or urine arsenic levels and a diagnosis of glaucoma in the study population.
“Future prospective investigations will be necessary to confirm these associations and to explore the role of trace elements in the pathogenesis of glaucoma, as well as possible neuroprotective effects, which could lead to novel therapeutic targets in glaucoma management,” the authors wrote.
The study was published online by JAMA Ophthalmology.