Glaucomatous Optic Neuropathy Associated with Nocturnal Dip in Blood Pressure: Findings from the Maracaibo Aging Study

Jesús D. Melgarejo, Joseph H. Lee, Michele Petitto, Juan B. Yépez, Felipe A. Murati, Zhezhen Jin, Carlos A. Chávez, Rosa V. Pirela, Gustavo E. Calmón, Winston Lee, Matthew P. Johnson, Luis J. Mena, Lama A. Al-Aswad, Joseph D. Terwilliger, Rando Allikmets, Gladys E. Maestre, C. Gustavo De Moraes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine which nocturnal blood pressure (BP) parameters (low levels or extreme dipper status) are associated with an increased risk of glaucomatous damage in Hispanics. Design: Observational cross-sectional study. Participants: A subset (n = 93) of the participants from the Maracaibo Aging Study (MAS) who met the study eligibility criteria were included. These participants, who were at least 40 years of age, had measurements for optical tomography coherence, visual field (VF) tests, 24-hour BP, office BP, and intraocular pressure <22 mmHg. Methods: Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses under the generalized estimating equations (GEE) framework were used to examine the relationships between glaucomatous damage and BP parameters, with particular attention to decreases in nocturnal BP. Main Outcome Measures: Glaucomatous optic neuropathy (GON) based on the presence of optic nerve damage and VF defects. Results: The mean age was 61.9 years, and 87.1% were women. Of 185 eyes evaluated, 19 (26.5%) had signs of GON. Individuals with GON had significantly lower 24-hour and nighttime diastolic BP levels than those without. However, results of the multivariate GEE models indicated that the glaucomatous damage was not related to the average systolic or diastolic BP levels measured over 24 hours, daytime, or nighttime. In contrast, extreme decreases in nighttime systolic and diastolic BP (>20% compared with daytime BP) were significant risk factors for glaucomatous damage (odds ratio, 19.78 and 5.55, respectively). Conclusions: In this population, the link between nocturnal BP and GON is determined by extreme dipping effects rather than low nocturnal BP levels alone. Further studies considering extreme decreases in nocturnal BP in individuals at high risk of glaucoma are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)807-814
Number of pages8
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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