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Cocaine Use Linked To Glaucoma

Last updated on Friday, September 30, 2011

(INDIANAPOLIS) - A new study shows a potential connection between cocaine use and glaucoma.

The study from the IU school of medicine at IUPUI says current and former cocaine users have a 45 percent higher risk for glaucoma, after adjusting for race and age.

Dr. Dustin French says the study started with a number of younger patients coming in to Department of Veteran's Affairs clinics with glaucoma.

"Some of these patients were scheduled for glaucoma surgery and as we were going through the medical records, we saw that many of these patients had been previously been screened positive for a history of substance abuse." says Dr. French.

Dr. French says those that suffered glaucoma and had a history of illegal drug use were 20 years younger than those without illegal drug use.

He says other risk factors for glaucoma include race, elevated eye pressure, increased age and family history. The study says while cocaine use increases the risk of glaucoma, it doesn't prove to be a cause of glaucoma.

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