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OBJECTIVE: Excessive dietary sodium intake has known adverse effects on intravascular fluid volume and systemic blood pressure, which may influence intraocular pressure (IOP) and glaucoma risk. This study aimed to assess the association of urinary sodium excretion, a biomarker of dietary intake, with glaucoma and related traits, and to determine whether this relationship is modified by genetic susceptibility to disease. DESIGN: Cross-sectional observational and gene-environment interaction analyses in the population-based UK Biobank study. PARTICIPANTS: Up to 103 634 individuals (mean age 57 years, 51% women) with complete urinary, ocular, and covariable data. METHODS: Urine sodium:creatinine ratio (UNa:Cr; mmol:mmol) was calculated from a midstream urine sample. Ocular parameters were measured as part of a comprehensive eye examination and glaucoma case ascertainment was through a combination of self-report and linked national hospital records. Genetic susceptibility to glaucoma was calculated based on a glaucoma polygenic risk score (PRS) comprising 2 673 common genetic variants. Multivariable linear and logistic regression, adjusted for key sociodemographic, medical, anthropometric, and lifestyle factors, were used to model associations and gene-environment interactions. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Corneal-compensated IOP, optical coherence tomography derived macular retinal nerve fiber layer (mRNFL) and ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer (GCIPL) thickness, and prevalent glaucoma. RESULTS: In maximally adjusted regression models, a one standard deviation increase in UNa:Cr was associated with higher IOP (0.14mmHg; 95% CI, 0.12 to 0.17; P<0.001) and greater prevalence of glaucoma (OR, 1.11; 95% CI, 1.07 to 1.14; P<0.001), but not mRNFL or GCIPL thickness. Compared to those with UNa:Cr in the lowest quintile, those in the highest quintile had significantly higher IOP (0.45mmHg; 95% CI, 0.36 to 0.53, P<0.001) and prevalence of glaucoma (OR, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.17 to 1.45; P<0.001). Stronger associations with glaucoma (P interaction=0.001) were noted in participants with a higher glaucoma PRS. CONCLUSIONS: Urinary sodium excretion, a biomarker of dietary intake, may represent an important modifiable risk factor for glaucoma, especially in individuals at high underlying genetic risk. These findings warrant further investigation as they may have important clinical and public health implications.

Original publication




Journal article


Ophthalmol Glaucoma

Publication Date



Dietary salt, Gene-environment interaction, Glaucoma, Intraocular pressure, Urinary sodium