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AAO: Higher Exercise Intensity Tied to Reduced Risk of Glaucoma

Last Updated: November 14, 2017.

Increasing exercise intensity is associated with a reduced risk of glaucoma, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, held Nov. 11 to 14 in New Orleans.

TUESDAY, Nov. 14, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Increasing exercise intensity is associated with a reduced risk of glaucoma, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, held Nov. 11 to 14 in New Orleans.

Victoria L. Tseng, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues examined the correlation between exercise intensity and glaucoma using data for adults from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2005 to 2006.

The researchers found that 3.1 percent of the 70,246,160 weighted NHANES subjects had glaucoma. The risk of glaucoma decreased by 6 percent for each 10-unit increase in exercise intensity value per minute (odds ratio, 0.94; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.91 to 0.97). Glaucoma risk decreased 25 percent for each 10-minute increase in moderate to vigorous activity per week (odds ratio, 0.75; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.54 to 1.05). The risk of glaucoma was reduced by 73 percent for subjects with the highest versus the lowest level of self-reported activity (odds ratio, 0.27; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.08 to 0.95).

"Our research suggests that it is not only the act of exercising that may be associated with decreased glaucoma risk, but that people who exercise with higher speed and more steps of walking or running may even further decrease their glaucoma risk compared to people who exercise at lower speeds with less steps," Tseng said in a statement.

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