Send to

Choose Destination
Ophthalmology. 1998 Feb;105(2):216-23.

Optic disc hemorrhages in a population with and without signs of glaucoma.

Author information

Department of Ophthalmology, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.



This study aimed to determine the prevalence and associations of optic disc hemorrhage in a well-defined older Australian population.


The study design was a population-based, cross-sectional study.


A total of 3654 persons 49 years of age or older, representing 88% of permanent residents from an area west of Sydney, participated in the study.


Participants underwent a detailed eye examination. The diagnosis of optic disc hemorrhage was made from masked photographic grading; disc hemorrhages were subclassified as flame or blot in shape. Open-angle glaucoma was diagnosed from matching visual field loss and optic disc rim thinning.


The overall prevalence of disc hemorrhage in either or both eyes was 1.4%. Disc hemorrhage prevalence was higher in women (odds radios [OR], 1.9; confidence interval [CI], 1.0-3.5) and increased with age (OR, 2.2 per decade; CI, 1.7-2.8 per decade). The overall prevalence in subjects with open-angle glaucoma was 13.8% (8% in high-pressure glaucoma and 25% in low-pressure glaucoma) and 1.5% in subjects with ocular hypertension. Disc hemorrhages were associated with increasing intraocular pressure (OR, 1.7 per 5 mmHg; CI, 1.3-2.3 per 5 mmHg), pseudoexfoliation (OR, 3.5; CI, 1.1-11.8), diabetes (OR, 2.9; CI, 1.4-6.3), and increasing systolic blood pressure (OR, 1.1 per 10 mmHg; CI, 1.0-1.3) after adjusting for age and gender. Among subjects without open-angle glaucoma, disc hemorrhages were more frequent in eyes with larger vertical cup-disc ratios and in subjects with a history of typical migraine headache (OR, 2.2; CI, 1.1-4.6). No associations were found among subjects with a history of vascular events, smoking, regular aspirin use, or myopia.


Disc hemorrhage prevalence in this population is higher than that in the two previous population-based reports. Although the strong association of disc hemorrhage with open-angle glaucoma was confirmed (particularly low-pressure glaucoma), most disc hemorrhages (70%) were found in participants without definite signs of glaucoma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center