Editor’s Note: As part of our “Year in Review” retrospective, we’ve selected the top 30 news stories of the year and are re-sharing them as we close out 2022. Follow along as we count down to number 1!

This story was originally published on December 14, 2022.

No. 21 biggest news story of 2022:

Higher systolic and pulse pressure may be linked to increased risk of POAG. Photo: Getty Images.

In an effort to better pinpoint the association between systemic blood pressure and incident primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) using a large open-access database, researchers recently found that higher systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure were associated with an increased risk of incident POAG.

The prospective cohort study included 484,268 participants from the UK Biobank without glaucoma at enrollment who were followed for a median of 12 years. Incident POAG events were recorded through assessment visits, hospital inpatient admissions and primary care data. Blood pressure measures included systolic, diastolic, pulse and mean arterial pressure.

There were 2,390 incident POAG events over 5,715,480 person-years of follow-up. Multivariable analysis showed that, compared with systolic and pulse pressure in the normal range (systolic: 120-130mm Hg, pulse: 40-50mm Hg), higher systolic and pulse readings were associated with an increased risk of incident POAG. Specifically, systolic blood pressure of 130-140mm Hg or 140-150mm Hg was associated with a 1.16x higher risk of incident POAG, whereas a pulse pressure of greater than 70mm Hg was associated with a 1.13x higher risk. No statistically significant associations were found between diastolic or mean arterial pressure and incident glaucoma.

“Systolic hypertension may thus represent a potential modifiable risk factor for POAG, although further studies are required to better characterize these associations,” the study authors wrote in their paper.

Macri C, Wong CX, Tu SJ, et al. Blood pressure measures and incident primary open-angle glaucoma. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. December 1, 2022. [Epub ahead of print].