In a retrospective study, 92 patients with ocular hypertension, ie, intraocular pressure of 21 mm Hg or higher, and no evidence of glaucomatous visual field defects, were observed for five years. Visual field defects developed in one or both eyes of 33 patients during the five-year follow-up period, while none were detected in the remaining 59. Values for suspected risk factors, determined at the outset of the follow-up period, were subjected to a multivariate analysis with use of linear discriminant analysis and a multiple logistic function. Models of risk providing maximum separation of the two patient groups (visual field loss vs no visual field loss) found that the risk factors having the greatest significance for prediction of visual field loss included vertical estimates of cup/disc ratio, mean IOP during the period of observation, a positive family history of glaucoma, and age. Factors having the lowest predictive values included IOP response to topical dexamethasone, plasma cortisol suppression, and a history of systemic hypertension.