Theoretically, benzodiazepines (BZDs) can narrow the iridocorneal angle and induce acute angle-closure glaucoma (AACG). However, little evidence exists regarding this association.
The objective of this study was to assess whether the use of BZDs is associated with the risk of AACG.
We conducted a population-based case-crossover study using the nationwide claims database of the National Health Insurance Service in Korea. Patients with newly diagnosed AACG-between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2016-who had received at least one BZD prescription prior to AACG diagnosis were enrolled. The date of AACG diagnosis was set as the index date. We assessed BZD use by each patient during a 30-day case period prior to the index date and three consecutive control periods that preceded this date. We used conditional logistic regression that adjusted for concomitant medications to determine the odds ratio for the use of BZDs in the case period compared with that in the control period in patients with incident AACG.
Of the 11,093 patients with incident AACG, 6709 received a prescription for BZD prior to diagnosis. BZD use was associated with an increased risk of AACG [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 1.40; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.27-1.54]. AACG risk was similar for short-acting (aOR = 1.40, 95% CI 1.24-1.57) and long-acting BZDs (aOR = 1.33, 95% CI 1.18-1.50).
We found that BZD use was associated with AACG risk in the Korean population. Clinicians should carefully monitor the occurrence of visual disturbance in BZD-treated patients.