Association between serum ferritin and glaucoma in the south korean population

Shuai Chun Lin, Sophia Y. Wang, Chungkwon Yoo, Kuldev Singh, Shan C. Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


IMPORTANCE :Evidence suggests that altered iron metabolism may be associated with oxidative damage to several organ systems, including the eye. Supplementary iron consumption is also associated with greater odds of self-reported glaucoma.

OBJECTIVE :To investigate the association between serum ferritin level and the likelihood of a glaucoma diagnosis in a cross-sectional, population-based study.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS :Datawere collected from 17 476 participants in the first and second years of the Fifth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a cross-sectional study of the South Korean population conducted from January 1, 2010, through December 31, 2011. Data pertaining to the serum ferritin level were aggregated and divided into quartiles. Demographic, comorbidity, and health-related behavior information was obtained via interview.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES :The presence or absence of glaucoma. The definition of glaucoma was based on criteria established by the International Society of Geographical and Epidemiological Ophthalmology.

RESULTS :Participants whose serum ferritin level was greater than 61 ng/mL (to convert to picomoles per liter, multiply by 2.247) had significantly higher odds of a glaucoma diagnosis when compared with those with a level less than 31 ng/mL, after adjustment for potential confounders (ferritin levels of 31-61 ng/mL: odds ratio [OR], 1.17; 95%CI, 0.84-1.62; ferritin levels of 62-112 ng/mL: OR, 1.60; 95%CI, 1.16-2.20; and ferritin levels of 113-3018 ng/mL: OR, 1.89; 95%CI, 1.32-2.72).

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE :Our study reveals that a higher serum ferritin level was associated with greater odds of glaucoma in a representative sample of the South Korean population, even at levels normally observed in the general population. This novel finding may help elucidate the pathogenesis and lead to novel therapeutic approaches for glaucomatous disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1414-1420
Number of pages7
JournalJAMA Ophthalmology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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