Background: To date, the relationship between zolpidem use and subsequent risk of glaucoma in a Taiwanese population has not been assessed.
Methods: We used data from the National Health Insurance system to investigate whether zolpidem use was related to glaucoma risk. A 1:4 matched case-control study was conducted. The cases were patients newly diagnosed with glaucoma from 2001 to 2010. The controls were randomly selected non-glaucoma subjects matched by sex and age (±5 years). Zolpidem exposure and/or the average dosage of zolpidem used (mg/year) were evaluated. Medical comorbidities were considered as confounding factors. Multiple logistic regression models were used to evaluate the potential risk of zolpidem exposure on glaucoma with/without adjustment for the effects of confounding variables.
Results: The exposure rate of zolpidem use in the glaucoma group was significantly higher than that of the control group (2.8% vs. 2.0%, P < 0.0001). The adjusted odds ratio (OR) of the risk of glaucoma for those with zolpidem use vs. those without was 1.19 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02-1.38). Compared to non-zolpidem users, zolpidem users with an average dose of more than 200 mg/year had significantly increased risk of glaucoma (OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.03-1.68).
Conclusions: This study suggests that the use of zolpidem might increase the risk of subsequent glaucoma. Further confirmatory studies are recommended to clarify this important issue.