Bulletin de la Société belge d'ophtalmologie issue:298 pages:53-60
PURPOSE: To determine the prevalence of vascular risk factors (VRF) in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), normal tension glaucoma (NTG), and ocular hypertension (OH), and to evaluate their influence in the progression of the disease. METHODS: 269 Belgian ophthalmologists were invited to participate in this cross-sectional prevalence study. Using a questionnaire the following parameters were analyzed in patients with POAG, NTG, and OH: age, intraocular pressure, refraction, visual field defect, vertical cup/disc ratio, medical therapy, and vascular risk factors. Progression of visual field was based on subjective analysis of minimum three reliable automated perimetries over a period of minimum three years. RESULTS: 4920 patients were enrolled in the study. 75% had POAG, 8% had NTG, and 17% had OH. The mean age was 67 years (40-99 y.). Fifty-three percent were female. There was a significant difference in the prevalence of no VRF vs. >1 VRF between the patients with OH and the patients with POAG/NTG (p < 0.01). Visual field progression was found in 34% of the patients with POAG and 46% of the patients with NTG. In the group with POAG the presence of at least 2 and at least 3 VRF increased the risk for visual field progression with respectively 16% and 42% compared to patients without VRF (p = respectively 0.03 and 0.002). CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of VRF is significantly higher in patients with POAG/NTG compared to patients with OH. The presence of VRF might increase the risk for progression of glaucomatous visual field defects.