We evaluated the relation of prediagnostic sex hormone levels in postmenopausal women with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and intraocular pressure (IOP).
Among postmenopausal participants of the Nurses’ Health Study, POAG cases (n = 189; diagnosed 1990-2008) and controls (n = 189) were matched on age, fasting status, and postmenopausal hormone use at blood draw (1989-1990). Plasma concentrations of estrone sulfate, estradiol, testosterone, sex hormone binding globulin, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate were assessed. The primary outcome was POAG; in secondary analyses, among cases only, we evaluated maximum untreated IOP at diagnosis. Multivariable-adjusted logistic/multiple linear regression models were used to evaluate tertiles (Ts) of biomarker levels and the two outcomes, adjusting for various potential confounders.
We observed no significant associations of estrone, estradiol, sex hormone binding globulin, or dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate with POAG risk or with maximum IOP at glaucoma diagnosis among cases. Suggestive significant associations were observed with highest testosterone and POAG risk (T3 vs T1 multivariable-adjusted odds ratio 1.84; 95% confidence interval 1.02, 3.33; P trend 0.10). Similarly, for maximum IOP at diagnosis among cases only (mean 8 years after blood draw), higher testosterone was significantly associated with higher IOP (multivariable-adjusted difference in IOP T3 vs T1 2.17 mm Hg; 95% confidence interval 0.34, 3.99; P trend 0.02).
Overall, plasma sex hormone levels in postmenopausal women were not associated with POAG risk; however, a trend of higher testosterone levels being associated with higher POAG risk and higher IOP at diagnosis was observed and needs confirmation.