An Association Between Large Optic Nerve Cupping and Cognitive Function.

Kleins Lab // Publications // Oct 01 2019

PubMed ID: 31163134

Author(s): Vajaranant TS, Hallak J, Espeland MA, Pasquale LR, Klein BE, Meuer SM, Rapp SR, Haan MN, Maki PM. An association between large optic nerve cupping and cognitive function. Am J Ophthalmol. 2019 Oct;206:40-47. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2019.05.019. Epub 2019 Jun 1. PMID 31163134

Journal: American Journal Of Ophthalmology, Volume 206, Oct 2019

PURPOSE To determine if a larger cup-to-disc ratio is associated with poor cognitive function in postmenopausal women without glaucoma or ocular hypertension.

METHODS We used data from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) hormone trial, originally designed to test effects of hormone therapy (HT) on various health outcomes. Large cup-to-disc ratio was defined as greater than 0.6 in either eye based on stereoscopic optic nerve photographs. Global cognitive function was assessed annually by Modified Mini-Mental State Examination (3MSE) in the WHI Memory Study. Exclusions were no information on optic nerve grading; no 3MSE scores at the time of the eye examination, ocular hypertension (intraocular pressure >23 mm Hg, Goldmann applanation tonometry), or glaucoma medication use. A generalized linear model for log-transformed 3MSE scores was used for determining the association between large cup-to-disc ratio and 3MSE scores, adjusting for age, race, diabetes, body mass index, cardiovascular disease, smoking, HT randomization, education, and diabetic retinopathy.

RESULTS Analyses included 1636 women (mean age ± standard deviation, 69.57 ± 3.64 years; 90.39% white). Of those, 122 women had large cup-to-disc ratio. The mean 3MSE scores in women with vs without large cup-to-disc ratio were 95.4 ± 6 vs 96.6 ± 5. In the adjusted model, women with large cup-to-disc ratio had statistically significantly lower 3MSE scores, compared with those without large cup-to-disc ratio, yielding the predicted mean difference in 3MSE scores of 0.75 with a standard error of 0.05 units (P = .04).

CONCLUSIONS Postmenopausal women who had large cup-to-disc ratio without glaucoma or ocular hypertension exhibited lower global cognitive function. Further investigation is warranted. NOTE: Publication of this article is sponsored by the American Ophthalmological Society.

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