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Hormones and Vision

Women are often accused of having our hormones affect the way we see things. Scientists have confirmed, however, that our hormones do affect our vision.  A recent study in the American Journal of Epidemiology (7/15/01) showed that women who have an early natural menopause have an increased risk of open-angle glaucoma. 

Doctors at the Netherlands Ophthalmic Research Institute in Amsterdam studied the association between age at menopause and open-angle glaucoma among 3078 women over 55 years of age [who participated in the population-based Rotterdam Study].

Seventy-eight women with a natural menopause were diagnosed with open-angle glaucoma, compared with 15 women with a surgical menopause. After adjustment for age and HRT use, women with natural menopause before age 45 had a higher risk of open-angle glaucoma than women who went through menopause after age 50.

Interestingly, women who had used HRT had a lower risk of open-angle glaucoma than those who had not used it. [Compared with the controls, women who experienced early menopause before age 45 also had a higher risk of having elevated intraocular pressure.] To explain this, the researchers said that the decrease in estrogen and progesterone levels after menopause may play a key role. For more information, click here.

Created: 9/11/2001  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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