Intraocular pressure (IOP) was found to be significantly correlated with body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) in a farmworker population located in the southeast Georgia, USA. BMI was correlated with IOP, independent of systemic blood pressures.
Elevated IOP is a known risk factor for glaucomatous optic neuropathy and is believed to be associated with obesity and cardiometabolic diseases. The high prevalence of these conditions in the United States necessitates an evaluation of the relationship among obesity, cardiometabolic risks, and IOP among understudied younger populations.
Materials and Methods:
Farmworker data were collected from the annual Costa-Layman Health Fair between 2013 and 2017. Correlations of IOP with demographic factors, obesity, and cardiometabolic risks were analyzed using analysis of covariance, partial Pearson correlations, and linear regressions.
In the farmworker population (n=346), the mean IOP was 15.5 mm Hg and the prevalence of ocular hypertension (IOP>21 mm Hg) was 5.5%. BMI, waist circumference, and DBP were significantly correlated (r=0.192, P=0.001; r=0.128, P=0.017; r=0.142, P=0.007, respectively) with IOP when adjusted for age, sex, and ethnicity. Each 10 mm Hg increase in DBP corresponded with a 0.51 mm Hg increase in IOP. With adjustment for age, sex, ethnicity, systolic blood pressure, and DBP, BMI remained significantly correlated with IOP (r=0.166, P=0.002).
Higher IOP is associated with obesity measures including BMI and waist circumference and is correlated with DBP. These findings suggest that BMI is an independent risk factor for elevated IOP.