For many years the link between diabetes and glaucoma has been controversial. Some studies have reported an association whereas others have not. One large clinical trial even suggested diabetes might be protective against developing glaucoma. You can understand the confusion.
A recent meta-analysis by Zhao et al has shed some further light on this topic. A meta-analysis is when all the literature on a topic is analysed and summarised to get a feeling for any overall trends. Zhao et al found that when 47 studies were reviewed, an association between diabetes and the risk of developing glaucoma or ocular hypertension (high eye pressure) was found. Further, they demonstrated that the risk of glaucoma increased the longer the diabetes had been present. The reason why this association might occur is not known but it is postulated that the damage caused to blood vessels by the circulating blood sugar might in some way play a roll.
Zhao D, Cho J, Kim MH, Freidman DS, Guallar E. Diabetes, fasting glucose and the risk of glaucoma: a meta-analysis. Ophthalmology 2014 [Epub Ahead of Print]
-Posted by Dr Colin I Clement.