Hypertension as an Independent Risk Factor for Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma : A Review

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Boluwaji Ogunyemi


Glaucoma, Hypertension, Open-Angle Glaucoma, Glaucoma Epidemiology, Black Populations, African American


Glaucoma is the third leading cause of blindness worldwide and leading cause of blindness in those of the African Diaspora. Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is defined by open anterior chamber angles, resulting in optic nerve damage and visual field abnormalities that is unaccounted for by other diseases. Though raised Intraocular pressure has been identified as a risk factor for POAG, the role of hypertension as an independent risk factor for the development of POAG is unclear. Further, there is a paucity of literature in the risk factors of POAG specifically for individuals of African descent. Recently, molecular genetics studies in the field of ophthalmology have confirmed that different ethnic groups have varying genetic susceptibility to developing glaucoma. 15 More studies are being performed to try to understand risk factors for different ethnic groups from the molecular to the social level. In order to ascertain whether hypertension serves as an independent risk factor for developing primary open-angle glaucoma, EMBASE, PubMed and the Cochrane library were searched for relevant studies. Three studies that met the inclusion criteria were chosen and appraised; a longitudinal cohort study (n= 2989), a population-based prevalence study(n=5308) and a case control study (n= 1466).To conclude, there is insignificant evidence to conclude that hypertension serves as an independent risk factor for developing POAG in black populations.