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Association of vitamin D with incident glaucoma: findings from the Women’s Health Initiative
  1. Laura D Carbone1,2,
  2. Karen Johnson3,
  3. Joseph C Larson4,
  4. Fridtjof Thomas3,
  5. Jean Wactawski-Wende5,
  6. Kathryn Bollinger6,
  7. Zhao Chen7,
  8. Mitchell Watsky8
  1. 1Medicine, Augusta University Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Georgia, USA
  2. 2Medicine, Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Augusta, Georgia, USA
  3. 3Preventive Medicine, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee, USA
  4. 4Public Health Sciences Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, USA
  5. 5Epidemiology and Environmental Health, University at Buffalo—The State University of New York, Buffalo, New York, USA
  6. 6Ophthalmology, Augusta University Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Georgia, USA
  7. 7Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA
  8. 8Cellular Biology and Anatomy, Augusta University Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Georgia, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mitchell Watsky, Cellular Biology and Anatomy, Augusta University Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA 30912, USA; mwatsky{at}


The relationship between vitamin D and glaucoma is controversial. The objective of this study was to examine women from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) to determine if there is an association between vitamin D and incident glaucoma in postmenopausal women. We examined the association between dietary vitamin D intake, vitamin D supplements and serum 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels and the risk of developing glaucoma. 143,389 postmenopausal women from the WHI including a subset with serum 25(OH) D measurements were examined to determine the association of dietary, supplemental and serum levels of vitamin D to the development of glaucoma. Dietary intakes of vitamin D, use of vitamin D supplements and serum levels of 25(OH) D were predictors examined for the main outcome of incident glaucoma. In multivariable models adjusted for demographic, clinical variables and medication use, dietary vitamin D, vitamin D supplements, total vitamin D intake (diet plus supplements) and serum 25 (OH) D measurements were not significantly associated with incident glaucoma. In the CaD placebo-controlled intervention clinical trial, there was also no association in the active intervention arm with glaucoma. We conclude that dietary vitamin D intake, supplements and serum levels are not significantly related to the risk of developing glaucoma in postmenopausal women.

  • vitamin D
  • vitamin D deficiency
  • blindness

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  • Contributors LDC: study design, evaluation, primary manuscript author. KJ: study design, manuscript editing. JL: primary statistician, manuscript editing. FT: secondary statistician, manuscript editing. JW-W: study design, manuscript editing. KB: glaucoma specialist for the group, manuscript editing. ZC: study design, manuscript editing. MW: study design, evaluation, secondary manuscript author.

  • Funding The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) program is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through contracts HHSN268201100046C, HHSN268201100001C, HHSN268201100002C, HHSN268201100003C, HHSN268201100004C and HHSN271201100004C. Additional funding was supplied by NIH Grant #R01 EY021747 (MAW). JWW-WHI NHLBI support the WHI northeast regional center activities. KB is supported in part by NIH grant R01EY027406.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

  • Data availability statement Data are available in a public, open access repository. Data underlying this publication can be found at the following site: WHI data are also made available to Investigators through the following outlets: directly from the WHI Clinical Coordinating Center (on this site), The WHI Virtual Data Enclave (VDE), Biologic Specimen and Data Repository Information Coordinating Center (BioLINCC), Database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP).

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