Uncontrolled Hypertension Is Common in Glaucoma Clinics

Varshini Varadaraj, Ashok Vardhan, Lucy I. Mudie, Sophie Labarre, Yuhan Ong, Bingsong Wang, Cheryl Sherrod, David S. Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND To determine the magnitude of uncontrolled hypertension and smoking among patients visiting an eye clinic, and ascertain if referral to care providers is effective. METHODS Information on smoking status and blood pressure (BP) was collected among patients ≥18 years visiting an eye clinic. Those with high BP (systolic: ≥140 mm Hg and/or diastolic: ≥90 mm Hg) received a pamphlet on harms of hypertension on vision and were referred to a primary care physician. Smokers received a pamphlet on negative effects of smoking on vision and were offered referral to a tobacco quitline. Patients were followed up for referral outcome within 10 weeks from screening. RESULTS Screening: A total of participants screened included 140 (29.5%) with high BP and 31 (6.6%) current smokers. In the high BP group, 92 (66%) subjects were previously diagnosed with hypertension. Follow-up: Of the 140 participants with elevated BP, 84 (60%) responded to follow-up. Among these 84 participants, 57 (67.9%) had consulted primary care, of whom 5 (8.8%) reported being newly diagnosed with hypertension, and 11 (19.3%) reported a change in their antihypertensive prescription. Among the 31 smokers, 24 (77.4%) were willing for quitline referral. Sixteen (66.7%) of these patients responded to follow-up, 8 (50%) of whom reported participation in a smoking-cessation program with 1 patient (6.3%) successfully quitting smoking. CONCLUSIONS Nearly one-third of patients attending an eye clinic had elevated BP, and a smaller, but substantial, number of patients were current smokers. Eye clinics may serve as point for identification and referral of these patients with unmet needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-93
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • blood pressure
  • eye clinic
  • high blood pressure
  • hypertension
  • hypertension screening
  • referral
  • smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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