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article imageStudy: Fitness increases eye health

By Elizabeth Cunningham Perkins     Oct 26, 2011 in Health
Physical fitness may lower the risk of developing the vision-devastating eye disease glaucoma, according to a long-term study of the relationship between physical activity and low ocular perfusion pressure (OPP), a key risk factor.
A scientific paper detailing the EPIC-Norfolk Eye Study's findings that physical exercise appeared to ward off glaucoma by reducing the risk of low OPP, a condition that relates to high intraocular pressure (IOP), the main cause of glaucoma, has been published in the Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science journal, ScienceDaily reported.
For the study, 5,650 UK women and men aged 48 to 90 self-administered detailed health and lifestyle questionnaires between1993 and 1997, and were examined for IOP along with diastolic and systolic blood pressure between 2006 and 2010.
The results showed that 15 years of moderate physical exercise lowered the risk of OPP by twenty-five percent.
Author Paul J. Foster, MD, Phd, FRCS(Ed) of the University College London Institute of Ophthalmology explained,
"It appears that OPP is largely determined by cardiovascular fitness. We cannot comment on the cause, but there is certainly an association between a sedentary lifestyle and factors which increase glaucoma risk."
The effects of physical activity on blood pressure and on IOP (the two interacting factors determining OPP) have been studied before, but this study examined the relationship between OPP and physical activity directly for the first time, the authors claimed.
In related news, ScienceDaily reported: recently other research in the large-scale EPIC-Norfolk Eye Study suggested new methods of measuring eye pressure and assessing glaucoma risk that could improve diagnosis and treatment.
More about eye health, Fitness, fitness and eye health, Health and fitness, Glaucoma
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