Background: Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide and primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is the most common type of glaucoma. An association between POAG and the subsequent risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD) was unclear.
Objective: To investigate the association between POAG (including normal-tension glaucoma) and the subsequent risk of AD or PD 8 years following a diagnosis of POAG.
Methods: We performed a retrospective, propensity-score-matched analysis of a population-based cohort consisting of patients with and without POAG aged 60 years and older. Control patients without POAG were propensity-score matched to POAG patients based on their baseline characteristics.
Results: The incidence rates and confidence intervals (CIs) of AD among the patients with and without POAG were 2.85 (95% CI: 2.19-3.70) and 1.98 (95% CI: 1.68-2.31) per 1000 person-years, respectively. The incidence rates of PD among the POAG and non-POAG cohorts were 4.36 (95% CI: 3.52-5.39) and 4.37 (95% CI: 3.92-4.86) per 1000 person-years, respectively. Kaplan-Meier failure curves showed that the POAG patients had a higher risk of AD than the control patients did (log-rank test, P=.0189). However, the cumulative PD hazard ratios for the POAG and non-POAG patients did not differ significantly (log-rank test, P = .9953).
Conclusion: In elderly patients, POAG is a significant predictor of AD, but POAG is not a predictor of PD.