Study: Cardiovascular disease & Glaucoma are corelated
This prospective, longitudinal study assessed the association between cardiovascular disease and glaucoma.

Investigators evaluated 2,638 eyes for baseline and longitudinal structural thinning using spectral-domain OCT, and for visual field progression using Humphrey visual field (HVF) testing.

At enrollment, patients were classified as having predominant thinning of the macular ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer (mGCIPL), the peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (pRNFL) or both. The mean follow-up was 5.34 years. The authors compared cardiovascular disease and medication use between the study patients and a reference group of structurally and functionally stable glaucoma suspects.

--At baseline, patients with mGCIPL thinning had a higher prevalence of previous myocardial infarction (OR 5.14), hypertension (OR 2.70), antihypertensive medication use (OR 2.03) or statin use (OR 1.98).

--The prevalence of cardiovascular disease and medication use among patients with pRNFL thinning was comparable to controls.

--Longitudinal follow-up revealed that hypertension was associated with an increased risk of progression on both OCT (OR 1.79) and HVF (OR 1.92).

--In addition, an increase of 21 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure at baseline was linked to increased risk of OCT progression and HVF progression.

--Although the association between systolic blood pressure and structural progression was similar to the relationship between IOP and structural progression, IOP was more strongly linked to HVF progression than systolic blood pressure

The link between blood pressure and IOP shows that the effect of hypertension on glaucoma advancement may be mediated in part by IOP pathways, and that vascular pathways may be particularly significant in glaucomatous macula damage. This finding emphasizes the importance of mechanistic research to slow glaucoma progression in ways other than IOP lowering.