Use of phosphodiesterase inhibitors and prevalence of self-reported glaucoma in the United States.

PloS one

PubMedID: 28817686

Chen SP, Singh K, Lin SC. Use of phosphodiesterase inhibitors and prevalence of self-reported glaucoma in the United States. PLoS ONE. 2017;12(8):e0183388.
While decreased ocular blood flow is thought to be a possible contributor to glaucoma pathogenesis, it is unclear what role systemic phosphodiesterase inhibitors (PDEi) play. We performed a cross-sectional study of a nationally representative sample of the U.S. population to investigate the relationship between the most commonly used PDEi, sildenafil and theophylline, and self-reported glaucoma.

We used the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2008 cycles for this observational study. 7,042 participants, aged 40 years and over, responded to a survey item on glaucoma status and were included in the analysis. Multivariable logistic regression models were constructed to evaluate the association between at least 1 year of self-reported PDEi use and prevalent glaucoma. Regressions were adjusted for potential confounding variables, including demographics, socioeconomic status, and general health conditions, and accounted for the complex design of the survey. Sample weights were constructed and used to ensure the generalizability of results.

482 respondents self-reported a diagnosis of glaucoma, of which 11 used sildenafil and 20 used theophylline for at least 1 year. Covariates significantly associated with higher odds of glaucoma prevalence in univariable analyses included older age, black race, former smoking status, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, myocardial infarction, and stroke. Conversely, higher education and income were significantly associated with lower odds of glaucoma prevalence. In regression analyses adjusted for demographic and socioeconomic variables, sildenafil (OR = 4.90, CI: 1.24-19.27, p = 0.025) and theophylline (OR = 3.15, CI: 1.46-6.80, p = 0.005) were significantly associated with higher odds of self-reported glaucoma. These associations held after further adjustment with general health behaviors and conditions for both sildenafil and theophylline.

Use of sildenafil and theophylline for one or more years was associated with greater prevalence of self-reported glaucoma, a finding which requires further prospective study to assess causality and possible mechanisms of action.