Association of blood pressure status with the optic disk structure in non-glaucoma subjects: the Thessaloniki eye study

Am J Ophthalmol. 2006 Jul;142(1):60-67. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2006.02.055.


Purpose: To study the association of blood pressure (BP) status on the optic disk structure as measured with the Heidelberg Retina Tomograph (HRT) in people without glaucoma.

Design: Cross-sectional population-based setting study.

Methods: Consecutive participants in the Thessaloniki Eye Study were included in this study. HRT images of the optic disk and BP measurements were taken. Hypertension was defined as a systolic BP (SBP) > or =140 mm Hg, diastolic BP (DBP) >/=90 mm Hg, or both. Subjects were classified in three groups by SBP and DBP. The Kruskal-Wallis test was used to compare the three groups with respect to the HRT parameters. Regression models adjusted for age, gender, height, disk size, intraocular pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and duration of antihypertensive treatment were used for each HRT parameter to compare values among the different groups. The P value was considered significant at <.05.

Results: A total of 232 subjects were included in the analysis. Rim area was significantly different among groups when DBP was considered as the criterion to classify subjects (P = .005). In regression models, cup area, and cup-to-disk (c/d) ratio were increased in subjects with normal DBP that was the result of treatment, as compared with both the high DBP and untreated normal DBP groups.

Conclusions: In patients without glaucoma, the DBP <90 mm Hg that results from antihypertensive treatment is associated with increased cupping and decreased rim area of the optic disk. This information should be considered in research aiming to define the role of the BP status as an independent factor initiating optic disk changes and/or as a contributing factor to glaucoma damage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Blood Pressure Determination
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diastole
  • Female
  • Greece
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Fibers / drug effects
  • Optic Disk / pathology*
  • Systole


  • Antihypertensive Agents