Intraocular pressure and systemic blood pressure in the elderly.


The intraocular and systemic blood pressure, height, weight, and haemoglobin were measured in 573 subjects over 60 years old from a general practice population. Intraocular pressure was positively and independently related to systemic blood pressure (P less than 0.0001) and obesity (P less than 0.01) as assessed by the ponderal index. Systolic pressure rather than diastolic or mean pressure was most closely correlated with intraocular pressure and it is suggested that the systolic head of pressure increases the filtrated fraction of aqueous humour to cause a small but sustained rise in intraocular pressure. It is also suggested that obesity may decrease the facility of aqueous outflow.

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