Clinical and experimental links between diabetes and glaucoma

Vickie H Y Wong, Bang V Bui, Algis J Vingrys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness. It is a multifactorial condition, the risk factors for which are increasingly well defined from large-scale epidemiological studies. One risk factor that remains controversial is the presence of diabetes. It has been proposed that diabetic eyes are at greater risk of injury from external stressors, such as elevated intraocular pressure. Alternatively, diabetes may cause ganglion cell loss, which becomes additive to a glaucomatous ganglion cell injury. Several clinical trials have considered whether a link exists between diabetes and glaucoma. In this review, we outline these studies and consider the causes for their lack of concordant findings. We also review the biochemical and cellular similarities between the two conditions. Moreover, we review the available literature that attempts to answer the question of whether the presence of diabetes increases the risk of developing glaucoma. At present, laboratory studies provide robust evidence for an association between diabetes and glaucoma.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-23
Number of pages20
JournalClinical & Experimental Optometry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

Bibliographical note

© 2010 The Authors. Clinical and Experimental Optometry © 2010 Optometrists Association Australia.


  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Death
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Diabetic Angiopathies
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Dyslipidemias
  • Glaucoma
  • Humans
  • Neural Pathways
  • Ocular Hypertension
  • Optic Nerve Diseases
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Polymers
  • Retina
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells
  • Risk Factors
  • Sorbitol
  • Vision, Ocular


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