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Ophthalmology. 1995 Jan;102(1):54-60.

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

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Erasmus University Medical School, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.



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


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.


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.


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.

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