Study: Contraceptive Pill Doubles Risk Of Blindness

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(Getty Images)

CBS Charlotte (con't)

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NEW ORLEANS (CBS Charlotte)— Women who have used birth control pills for three or more years are twice as likely to suffer from glaucoma, according to a new study.

The study was conducted by researchers at University of California, San Francisco, Duke University School of Medicine and Third Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang, China.

It’s the first study showing there may be a link between long term oral contraceptive use and glaucomatous diseases.

Researchers went through CDC data from 2005 to 2008 of 3,406 women aged 40 years  or older who completed a survey about their vision, contraceptive use and had an eye exam.

The woman who used oral contraceptives for three years or longer were 2.05 times more likely to report a diagnosis of glaucoma.

The results were the same no matter what kind of oral contraceptive was used.

“This study should be an impetus for future research to prove the cause and effect of oral contraceptives and glaucoma,” said Shan Lin, M.D., lead researcher and professor of clinical ophthalmology at the University of California San Francisco.

“At this point, women who have taken oral contraceptives for three or more years should be screened for glaucoma and followed closely by an ophthalmologist, especially if they have any other existing risk factors.”

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes if blindness and affects nearly 60 million people worldwide.

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