Risk of glaucoma among patients with benign essential blepharospasm

Michael S. Lee, Andrew R. Harrison, Daniel S. Grossman, Frank A. Sloan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


PURPOSE:: Debate exists whether intraocular pressure fluctuation is a risk factor for glaucoma. Patients with benign essential blepharospasm (BEB) experience intermittent, ultra-short-term intraocular pressure elevations from frequent blinking and spastic eyelid closure. This article explores the development of incident glaucoma after BEB diagnosis. METHODS:: Medicare claims files were used to identify patients with a diagnosis of BEB from 1994 to 2000. An equal-sized control group consisting of patients without BEB was created using one-to-one propensity score matching. The patients with BEB and those in the control group were followed for the development of one of the following main outcome measures: primary open angle glaucoma (POAG), closed angle glaucoma (CAG), or other glaucoma (besides POAG and CAG) over the following 2,190 days. RESULTS:: There were 1,350 persons in each group, consisting of 29% men, 94% of whom were white, with a mean age of 76 years. In the unadjusted model, BEB patients did not develop POAG (hazard ratio [HR], 1.159; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.876-1.534), CAG (HR, 1.477; 95% CI, 0.711-3.066), or other glaucoma (HR, 1.306; 95% CI, 0.904-1.886) more often than controls. Adjusting for age, gender, race, number of visits to the ophthalmologist, and other eye disease, a diagnosis of BEB did not affect the risk of POAG (HR, 1.152; 95% CI, 0.870-1.525), CAG (HR, 1.448; 95% CI, 0.696-3.015), or other glaucoma (HR, 1.296; 95% CI, 0.896-1.873). CONCLUSIONS:: BEB is not a risk indicator for POAG, CAG, or other forms of glaucoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)434-437
Number of pages4
JournalOphthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2010


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