Low Blood Pressure Linked With Elevated Glaucoma Risk

Senior woman measuring blood pressure
Senior woman using blood pressure meter.
Presenters asserted a connection between glaucoma and the use of medication to reduce BP.

This article is part of Ophthalmology Advisor’s conference coverage from the 2021 meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, held in New Orleans from November 12 to 15, 2021. The team at Ophthalmology Advisor will be reporting on a variety of the research presented by the ophthalmology experts at the AAO. Check back for more from the AAO 2021 Meeting.


Low blood pressure (BP) may be associated with increased risk of developing open-angle glaucoma (OAG), according to research presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology 2021 meeting in New Orleans. 

An investigation demonstrated the influence of BP and BP medications on the development of OAG, using information from the National Institutes of Health “All of Us” database. The investigation included records from 467 patients with OAG and 20,458 patients without glaucoma. The investigators calculated the hazard of developing OAG using a Cox proportional hazards model with mean arterial pressure (MAP) and number of BP medications as time-varying primary predictors, with age, race, sex, diabetes diagnosis and smoking status as covariates. 

The researchers found that the lowest quintile of MAP was associated with increased hazard of developing OAG (hazard ratio [HR] 1.28; 95% CI, 1.01-1.62). High MAP or number of BP medications was not associated with greater risk of developing OAG, the report notes.  

Significant risk factors of developing OAG also included being Black (HR 3.39; 95% CI, 2.69-4.26), Hispanic/Latino (HR 2.62; 95% CI, 2.02-3.40) or Asian (HR 2.14; 95% CI, 1.19-3.84); having diabetes (HR 1.38; 95% CI, 1.09-1.74); and being older age (HR 1.08; 95% CI, 1.07-1.09). Being female was considered a protective factor (HR 0.68; 95% CI, 0.56-0.81).

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Lee EB, Singh K, Wang SY. Association between blood pressure and OAG in a U.S. nationwide EHR cohort study. Poster presented at: The American Academy of Ophthalmology 2021 Annual Meeting; November 12-15, 2021; New Orleans. Abstract PO202.