Objective: To evaluate the demographic, medical, ocular, familial, and other factors possibly associated with intraocular pressure (IOP) in a black population, after excluding persons with any type of glaucoma.
Design: The Barbados Eye Study was a population-based study of a random sample of residents of Barbados, West Indies, aged 40 to 84 years.
Participants: A subset of the Barbados Eye Study population consisting of 3752 black Barbados Eye Study participants without glaucoma.
Data collection: A standardized protocol included applanation tonometry and other ocular data, blood pressure measurements, anthropometry, complexion pigmentation gradings, and a comprehensive interview.
Main outcome measure: Intraocular pressure was based on the average of 3 measurements at the Barbados Eye Study visit. Multiple linear regression was used to evaluate factors associated with IOP.
Results: Systolic blood pressure (or hypertension), diabetes history, and age were the major factors positively associated with IOP (P<.01). Other positively related factors were female gender, darker complexion, pulse rate, higher body mass, seasonality, family history of glaucoma, current alcohol use, and current smoking. These factors explained 10% of the variation in IOP.
Conclusions: By identifying risk factors, these results define specific subgroups most likely to have an elevated IOP. The high IOP in this population may be linked to the high prevalence of hypertension and diabetes. Aside from age and a family history of glaucoma, none of the risk factors for high IOP evaluated in this study was similar to those associated with open-angle glaucoma.