Vascular risk factors in glaucoma: The results of a national survey

OPTIME Study Group (Osservatorio sulla Patologia glaucomatosa, Indagine Medico Epidemiologica), CONPROSO (Collegio Nazionale dei Professori Ordinari di Scienze Oftalmologiche)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Background The role of vascular risk factors in glaucoma is still being debated. To assess the importance of vascular risk factors in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), data from the medical history of 2,879 POAG patients and 973 age-matched controls were collected and analyzed. Methods Design: observational survey. Setting: 35 Italian academic centers. Study population: POAG patients and age-matched controls. In order to reduce bias consecutive patients were included. Observation procedures: data concerning vascular risk factors were collected for all patients with a detailed questionnaire. A complete ophthalmological examination with assessment of intraocular pressure (IOP), visual field, optic disc, and systemic blood pressure was performed. Main outcome measures: the ESH-ESC (European Society of Hypertension-European Society of Cardiology) guidelines were used to calculate the level of cardiovascular risk. Crude and adjusted estimates of the odds ratios (OR) were calculated for all cardiovascular risk factors in POAG and controls. Results The study included 2,879 POAG patients and 973 controls. POAG cases had a significantly higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure (p=0.001) and systolic perfusion pressure (p=0.02) as compared with controls. Also mean IOP was significantly higher in the POAG group (p=0.01), while diastolic perfusion pressure was not significantly different in the two groups. Myopia was more prevalent in the POAG group (23 vs 18%, p=0.005) as well as a positive family history for glaucoma (26 vs 12%, p= 0.004). POAG patients tended to have a higher cardiovascular risk than controls: 63% of glaucoma cases vs 55% of controls (OR: 1.38, p=0.005) had a “high” or “very high” cardiovascular risk. Conclusions The level of cardiovascular risk was significantly higher in glaucoma patients than in controls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)795-802
Number of pages8
JournalGraefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Glaucoma
  • Risk factors
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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