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Could Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Be Linked to Exfoliation Glaucoma?

By: Hillary Ojeda
Posted: Monday, May 11, 2020

A history of non-melanoma skin cancer may be linked to a higher risk of exfoliation glaucoma, according to a study by Louis R. Pasquale, MD, of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, and colleagues published in the Journal of Glaucoma. However, the investigators noted, additional studies are necessary to understand the clinical link between the two conditions.

“Those with [non-melanoma skin cancer] may benefit from regular eye exams to detect [exfoliation syndrome/exfoliation glaucoma] earlier—particularly for younger participants aged 40 to 64 years living in northern latitudes, in whom we observed significantly stronger associations with [non-melanoma skin cancer],” the investigators concluded.

For this prospective cohort study, the researchers collected more than 28 years of data on 120,307 people. Participants were included from the ongoing Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. The study periods started in 1980 for the Nurses’ Health Study and in 1986 for the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, with both lasting until 2014. Depending on the group, the participants were asked different questions. For example, one group was asked about basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma history separately, whereas in other groups, the researchers asked only a single question about non-melanoma skin cancer history.

A total of 362 incidents of exfoliation glaucoma cases in the Nurses’ Health Study and 83 cases in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study were identified. They recorded a 40% higher exfoliation glaucoma risk for any person with a history of non-melanoma skin cancer (multivariable-adjusted relative risk [MVRR] = 1.40). “Also, the non-melanoma skin cancer association was stronger in younger (< 65 years; MVRR = 2.56) versus older participants (≥ 65 years; MVRR = 1.25; P for interaction = .01) and those living in northern latitudes (≥42º north; MVRR = 1.92) versus more southern latitudes (< 42º north; MVRR = 1.19; P for interaction = .04),” reported the investigators.

Disclosure: The study authors’ disclosure information can be found at journals.lww.com.



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