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Gabrielle Roddy, Dave Ellemberg; Prevention of Glaucoma through Exercise: A meta-analysis. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):483. doi: 10.1167/12.9.483.
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Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG) is an optic neuropathy that results in the loss of visual field. Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is one of many risk factors for POAG. For over four decades researchers examined the relationship between exercise and reduction of IOP. POAG progresses asymptomatically over years and not all patients comply with long term drug regimes. Exercise could be an important complementary treatment but to be considered a viable early intervention for those at risk it is important to identify the most effective combination of intensity and duration. A meta-analysis was performed to compare the effect of these exercise parameters on IOP levels in a non-clinical population. Searches were conducted via PubMed and Google Scholar and 63 studies were obtained. Studies were excluded as per the requirements of the analysis or a lack of variance measures related to the mean change in IOP. The ten studies selected include sedentary or normally-active participants with normal baseline IOP (10 to 21 mmHg) who completed a single bout of mild (40% HR) to moderate (50 to 70% HR) aerobic exercise ranging from 2 to 60 minutes. There is a clear effect of exercise on the reduction of IOP ranging from 1 to 5 mmHg. Although we could not compute a global effect size because the 21 conditions did not each come from independent groups, we observe certain patterns in the results. First, the active and sedentary participants appear to benefit equally from exercise. Second, there is an almost twofold reduction in IOP from the mild to moderate intensity conditions. Finally, the duration of exercise appears to influence outcome for the mild but not moderate intensity conditions. The relationship between intensity and duration needs to be analyzed further in a longitudinal study that focuses on individuals at risk for POAG.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012
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