POAG puts pressure on the heart

January 15, 2007

Patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) have a higher level of cardiovascular risk than in age-matched patients without glaucoma, according to a report published in a recent issue of Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology.

Patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) have a higher level of cardiovascular risk than in age-matched patients without glaucoma, according to a report published in a recent issue of Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology.

Nicola Orzalesi and colleagues from the OPTIME Study group, collected and analysed data from the medical history of 2,879 POAG patients and 973 age-matched controls, from 35 centres in Italy. Data relating to vascular risk factors were collected by means of a detailed questionnaire and all subjects underwent a complete ophthalmic examination with assessment of intraocular pressure (IOP), visual field, optic disc and systemic blood pressure. The European Society of Hypertension/European Society of Cardiology (ESH-ESC) guidelines were used to calculate the level of cardiovascular risk.

The POAG patients had significantly higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure, systolic perfusion pressure and IOP compared to the control group. However, diastolic perfusion pressure did not significantly differ between the groups. Myopia was more common in the POAG group (23% compared to 18%), as was a positive family history of glaucoma (26% compared to 12%). POAG patients also tended to have a higher cardiovascular risk than controls. A total of 63% of POAG patients and 55% of controls had a high or very high cardiovascular risk.

The authors found that patients with POAG do have a greater cardiovascular risk than those who do not have glaucoma.