Are branched-chain amino acids associated with risk of POAG?

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Previous preclinical studies have proposed the idea that branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) may be inversely associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as glaucoma.

Researchers in this study assessed the long-term association between dietary intake of BCAA and incident primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG)

Participants from the Nurses’ Health Study, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, and the NHSII were eligible if they were >40 years and reported an eye examination. Dietary intake was assessed by food frequency questionnaires.

Overall, 1946 cases of primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) were identified. Subtypes of POAG were defined by intraocular pressure level or POAG with only peripheral visual field loss.

The pooled multivariable-adjusted relative risks of POAG for the highest quintile versus lowest quintile of total BCAA intake was 0.93. No associations were observed for men or women for POAG subtypes.

There was a suggested inverse association in women with the POAG subtype with early paracentral visual field loss; this was not seen in men.

The authors concluded that higher dietary intake of BCAA was not associated with POAG risk.

Hanyuda A, Rosner BA, Wiggs JL, et al. Prospective study of dietary intake of branched-chain amino acids and the risk of primary open-angle glaucoma. Acta Ophthalmol. 2021;doi: 10.1111/aos.14971. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34240564.

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