Associations of sleep apnoea with glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration: an analysis in the United Kingdom Biobank and the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging

Xikun Han, Samantha Sze Yee Lee, Nathan Ingold, Nigel McArdle, Anthony P. Khawaja, Stuart MacGregor, David A. Mackey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Sleep apnoea, a common sleep-disordered breathing condition, is characterised by upper airway collapse during sleep resulting in transient hypoxia, hypoperfusion of the optic nerve, and spike in intracranial pressure. Previous studies have reported conflicting findings on the association of sleep apnoea with glaucoma, and there are limited reports on the link between sleep apnoea and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Methods: Middle-aged and older participants from the longitudinal United Kingdom (UK) Biobank (n = 502,505) and the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA; n = 24,073) were included in this analysis. Participants in the UK Biobank and the CLSA were followed for 8 and 3 years, respectively. Participants with diagnosed glaucoma or AMD at baseline were excluded from the analysis. In the UK Biobank, sleep apnoea and incident cases of glaucoma and AMD were identified through hospital inpatient admission, primary care records, and self-reported data. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards models were used to explore associations of sleep apnoea with incidence of glaucoma or AMD. Results: During the 8-year follow-up in the UK Biobank, glaucoma incidence rates per 1000 person-years were 2.46 and 1.59 for participants with and without sleep apnoea, and the AMD incidence rates per 1000 person-years were 2.27 and 1.42 for participants with and without sleep apnoea, respectively. Multivariable adjusted hazard ratios of glaucoma and AMD risk for sleep apnoea were 1.33 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.10–1.60, P = 0.003) and 1.39 (95% CI 1.15–1.68, P <0.001) relative to participants without sleep apnoea. In the CLSA cohort, disease information was collected through in-person interview questionnaires. During the 3-year follow-up, glaucoma incidence rates per 1000 person-years for those with and without sleep apnoea were 9.31 and 6.97, and the AMD incidence rates per 1000 person-years were 8.44 and 6.67, respectively. In the CLSA, similar associations were identified, with glaucoma and AMD odds ratios of 1.43 (95% CI 1.13–1.79) and 1.39 (95% CI 1.08–1.77), respectively, in participants with sleep apnoea compared to those without sleep apnoea (both P <0.001). Conclusions: In two large-scale prospective cohort studies, sleep apnoea is associated with a higher risk of both glaucoma and AMD. These findings indicate that patients with sleep apnoea might benefit from regular ophthalmologic examinations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104
JournalBMC Medicine
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Associations of sleep apnoea with glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration: an analysis in the United Kingdom Biobank and the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this