Primary open-angle glaucoma, intraocular pressure, and systemic blood pressure in the general elderly population. The Rotterdam Study

Ophthalmology. 1995 Jan;102(1):54-60. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(95)31054-8.


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate the association of primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), intraocular pressure (IOP), and systemic blood pressure.

Methods: Subjects participating in the Rotterdam Study (n = 4187, 55 years of age and older) were examined according to standard protocols, including a medical history interview, IOP measurement, perimetry, funduscopy, and blood pressure measurement. Primary open-angle glaucoma was defined by the presence of a glaucomatous visual field defect. Additionally, the distinction was made between high-tension glaucoma, defined as POAG with an IOP of more than 21 mmHg, and normal-tension glaucoma, defined as POAG with an IOP of 21 mmHg or less. The relation between blood pressure and hypertension with IOP, POAG, high-tension glaucoma, and normal-tension glaucoma was studied by means of regression analysis.

Results: A systolic blood pressure or diastolic blood pressure that was 10 mmHg higher was associated with an IOP that was, on average, 0.23 mmHg (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.19-0.27) or 0.24 mmHg (95% CI, 0.16-0.32) higher, respectively. The presence of hypertension was associated with a higher mean IOP of 0.66 mmHg (95% CI, 0.39-0.93). A higher systolic blood pressure of 10 mmHg was associated with an odds ratio of 1.22 (95% CI, 1.03-1.46) for high-tension glaucoma and 0.90 (95% CI, 0.72-1.12) for normal-tension glaucoma. Hypertension was associated with an odds ratio of 2.33 (95% CI, 0.99-5.47) for high-tension glaucoma and 0.77 (95% CI, 0.22-2.72) for normal-tension glaucoma.

Conclusion: Systemic blood pressure and hypertension are associated with IOP and high-tension glaucoma. No association was found between blood pressure or hypertension and normal-tension glaucoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / complications
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Intraocular Pressure*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prospective Studies