Risk of cataract and glaucoma in patients with multiple sclerosis

Marloes T Bazelier, Sigrid Mueller-Schotte, Hubert G M Leufkens, Bernard M J Uitdehaag, Tjeerd van Staa, Frank de Vries*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: The aim of the study was to evaluate whether multiple sclerosis (MS) is associated with risk of cataract or glaucoma.

METHODS: We conducted a population-based cohort study utilizing the UK General Practice Research Database (1987-2009) linked to the national hospital registry of England (1997-2008). Incident MS patients (5576 cases) were identified and each was matched to six patients without MS (controls) by age, gender, and practice. Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) of incident cataract and glaucoma in MS. Time-dependent adjustments were made for age, history of diseases and drug use.

RESULTS: MS patients had no overall increased risk of cataract, adjusted (adj.) HR 1.15 (95% CI 0.94-1.41) or glaucoma, adj. HR 1.02 (95% CI 0.78-1.33). Risk of cataract (adj. HR 2.45 (95% CI 1.56-3.86)) and glaucoma (adj. HR 1.70 (95% CI 1.01-2.86)) was significantly greater in patients < 50 years, particularly in men < 50 years: cataract, adj. HR 4.23 (95% CI 2.22-8.05) and glaucoma, adj. HR 2.76 (95% CI 1.28-5.93).

CONCLUSION: This is the first study which showed that the risk of cataract and glaucoma is elevated in MS patients younger than 50 years, particularly men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)628-38
Number of pages11
JournalMultiple Sclerosis Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cataract/epidemiology
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • England/epidemiology
  • Female
  • Glaucoma/epidemiology
  • Glucocorticoids/therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis/drug therapy
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Registries
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


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