PURPOSE: To study the relationship between primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) in a cohort of patients of African descent (AD) and serum vitamin D levels. METHODS: A subset of the AD and glaucoma evaluation study III (ADAGES III) cohort, consisting of 357 patients with a diagnosis of POAG and 178 normal controls of self-reported AD, were included in this analysis. Demographic information, family history, and blood samples were collected from all the participants. All the subjects underwent clinical evaluation, including visual field (VF) mean deviation (MD), central cornea thickness (CCT), intraocular pressure (IOP), and height and weight measurements. POAG patients were classified into early and advanced phenotypes based on the severity of their visual field damage, and they were matched for age, gender, and history of hypertension and diabetes. Serum 25-Hydroxy (25-OH) vitamin D levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The association of serum vitamin D levels with the development and severity of POAG was tested by analysis of variance (ANOVA) and the paired -test. RESULTS: The 178 early POAG subjects had a visual field MD of better than -4.0 dB, and the 179 advanced glaucoma subjects had a visual field MD of worse than -10 dB. The mean (95% confidence interval [CI]) levels of vitamin D of the subjects in the control (8.02 ± 6.19 pg/ml) and early phenotype (7.56 ± 5.74 pg/ml) groups were significantly or marginally significantly different from the levels observed in subjects with the advanced phenotype (6.35 ± 4.76 pg/ml; p = 0.0117 and 0.0543, respectively). In contrast, the mean serum vitamin D level in controls was not significantly different from that of the subjects with the early glaucoma phenotype (p = 0.8508). CONCLUSIONS: In this AD cohort, patients with advanced glaucoma had lower serum levels of vitamin D compared with early glaucoma and normal subjects.
Viterbi Family Department of Ophthalmology, Shiley Eye Institute, Hamilton Glaucoma Center, UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA.