Latest scientific news 22 March 2022

A healthy lifestyle as protection against glaucoma?

Glaucoma is one of the most common eye diseases and is characterized by the progressive damage of the optic nerve associated with the loss of the visual field. In addition to early detection and early reduction of the intraocular pressure, other risk factors to reduce the incidence of glaucoma have been examined.

The relationship between modifiable risk factors, such as diet and lifestyle, and glaucoma remains controversial. A Spanish research team has analysed the effect of the Mediterranean lifestyle (ML) on glaucoma incidence in the “Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra” (SUN) Project.

The SUN Healthy Lifestyle Score (SHLS) includes 10 healthy habits: never having smoked, moderate to high physical activity, Mediterranean diet adherence, moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages, low television exposure, no binge drinking, short afternoon napping, meeting up with friends, working at least 40 h/week, and low body mass index.

During the 12 year follow-up, 261 (1.42%) new cases of glaucoma were identified among the 18,420 participants. After adjusting for potential confounders, participants in the healthiest SHLS category showed a significantly reduced risk of glaucoma compared to those in the lowest SHLS category. For each point added to this healthy lifestyle score, the risk of glaucoma decreased by 5%.

The authors concluded that a higher adherence to the Mediterranean lifestyle (more than 6 healthy habits), including moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages, is protective against glaucoma risk.

Source: Moreno-Montañés J, Gándara E, Gutierrez-Ruiz I, Moreno-Galarraga L, Ruiz-Canela M, Bes-Rastrollo M, Martínez-González MÁ, Fernandez-Montero A. Healthy Lifestyle Score and Incidence of Glaucoma: The Sun Project. Nutrients. 2022 Feb 12;14(4):779. Doi. org/10.3390/nu14040779.

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