June 2020
Volume 61, Issue 7
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2020
Relationship between BMI and Glaucoma in the NHANES 2007-2008
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Matthew Hamers
    Rockville Eye Associates, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Aaron Hendrix
    Rockville Eye Associates, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Matthew Hamers, None; Aaron Hendrix, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2020, Vol.61, 48. doi:
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      Matthew Hamers, Aaron Hendrix; Relationship between BMI and Glaucoma in the NHANES 2007-2008. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(7):48.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose : BMI is a general indicator of overall health based on one’s height and weight. An above average BMI can indicate that one is overweight, in many cases leading to concomitant health issues including high blood pressure, heart disease, and arthritis. In past studies, there have been mixed results when examining the relationship between BMI and glaucoma rates. This study aims to determine whether there is a relationship between above average BMI’s and presence of glaucoma.

Methods : Data were collected from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007-2008 dataset. Patients that were deemed eligible were those who had both BMI and retinal images taken that were then assessed for presence of glaucoma, giving a total population of 611. For this study, patients with a BMI of 25 or below were considered to not have a high BMI, while a BMI over 25 was high. The presence of glaucoma was determined by a consensus of three glaucoma specialists grading optic nerve photographs as “Probable Glaucoma” or “Definite Glaucoma” according to the NHANES protocol. Subjects whose optic nerve photographs were graded as “No Glaucoma” or “Possible Glaucoma” were coded as not having glaucoma.

Results : Of the 611 patients that met inclusion requirements, 191 (21%) had glaucoma, and 420 (79%) did not have glaucoma. 162 (27%) had a high BMI, while 449 (73%) did not. Among those who had a high BMI, 142 (32%) had glaucoma and 307 (68%) did not. In the group that did not have a high BMI, 49 (30%) had glaucoma and 113 (70%) did not. This yields an OR of 0.937 (95% confidence interval .63 t0 1.38, p=.7455).

Conclusions : Among NHANES 2007-2008 participants, there was no significant relationship between an elevated BMI and presence of glaucoma. These results should be interpreted with caution, as causation cannot be inferred from a cross-sectional study. However, the results of this large cross-sectional study do confirm the findings of other recent studies.

This is a 2020 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.


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