Ocular pseudoexfoliation and cardiovascular disease: A national cross-section comparison study

Dustin D. French, Curtis E. Margo, Lynn E. Harman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Background: Pseudoexfoliation is a systemic disorder characterized by the deposition of extracellular matrix material. The microfibrillar material that gives rise to the condition is visible clinically in the anterior segment of the eye, and is also found in other tissues, including blood vessels, skin, gallbladder, kidneys, lungs, and heart. Aims: The present study aims to determine whether ocular pseudoexfoliation is associated with selected cardiovascular diseases. Materials and Methods: A cross-section comparison study was conducted with the help of the Veterans Health Administration databases, using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth revision, Clinical Modification for pseudoexfoliation of lens capsule and pseudoexfoliation glaucoma. Selected cardiovascular diseases and risk factors for cardiovascular disease were identified using the appropriate medical codes. Patients with primary open-angle glaucoma, chronic sinusitis, and benign prostatic hyperplasia served as the comparison groups. A logistic regression model was used to control for age, gender, race, and major cardiovascular risk factors. Results: There were 6,046 case patients with pseudoexfoliation; approximately half were diagnosed with pseudoexfoliation glaucoma. Various stages of ischemic heart disease, cardiomyopathy, and aortic aneurysm were significantly associated with ocular pseudoexfoliation, after controlling for age, gender, race, and major cardiovascular risk factors. Associations, in general, were less demonstrable relative to the primary open-angle glaucoma comparison group. Conclusion: Associations of ocular pseudoexfoliation with cardiovascular diseases were generally fewer and less pronounced when compared to patients with primary open-angle glaucoma. These results add to the results of earlier studies, which suggest that open-angle glaucoma itself might be a risk factor for certain cardiovascular disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)468-473
Number of pages6
JournalNorth American Journal of Medical Sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Pseudoexfoliation glaucoma
  • Pseudoexfoliation lens capsule
  • Pseudoexfoliation syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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