Research published in JAMA Ophthalmology explored the potential connection between baseline blood pressure (BP) with rates of macular ganglion cell complex (GCC) thinning in patients diagnosed with glaucoma.
Tell me about the study.
Investigators conducted a cohort study (titled the “Advanced Glaucoma Progression Study”) of 105 eyes (from 105 patients ages 39 to 80 years old; 63.8% female) with central or moderate-to-advanced glaucoma. A racial breakdown included: African American (14.3%); Asian (21.9%); 11.4% Hispanic; and White (52.4%).
Each patient was observed via clinical examination, 4+ macular optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging tests, and 2 or more years of follow-up.
What was measured?
Investigators used a bayesian hierarchical model to determine relevant demographic and clinical factors and estimated the macular GCC thickness rates of change.
These rates were also assessed using patients’ BP and intraocular pressure (IOP) measures.
The mean age was 66.9 years; 10-2 visual field mean deviation was –8.3 dB; the amount of follow-up time for patients was 3.6 years and the number of visits were 7.4.
Faster (worse) GCC thinning was found to be associated with the following variables:
- History of BP medication
- Higher IOP
- Thicker central corneal thickness
- Shorter axial length
- Higher contrast sensitivity at 12 cycles per degree
- Higher baseline 10-2 VF mean deviation
Investigators found that a lower diastolic BP was tied to faster rates of GCC thinning with higher IOPs.
The study authors concluded evaluating and addressing BP can be used as and considered a safe therapeutic approach for slowing glaucoma progression.
Additionally, they advised that a multidisciplinary approach involving a cardiovascular risk assessment could help balance the prevention of further glaucoma damage and cardiovascular disease by optimizing patients’ BP.