Lower levels of physical activity associated with lower ocular perfusion pressure later in life, findings suggest
Monday, December 19 2011 | Comments
In a recent study, individuals who reported a higher level of habitual physical activity at baseline had a reduced risk of subsequently developing low ocular perfusion pressure (OPP), a risk factor for glaucoma.
Researchers used data from 5,650 individuals aged 48 to 90 years who participated in the EPIC-Norfolk Study, a prospective, population-based study of residents in Norfolk, United Kingdom.
Among these participants, they assessed the relationship between reported physical activity during work and leisure time at baseline and low OPP and low diastolic OPP (DPP) measured approximately 10 years later. Low OPP was defined as an OPP of 40 mm Hg or less, while low DPP was defined as a DPP of 50 mm Hg or less; these values, the authors noted, represent meaningful cutoff points associated with an increased risk of open-angle glaucoma (OAG).
In a multivariate analysis that adjusted for age, sex, body mass index and social class, the odds of low OPP were 25 percent lower among the participants who were characterized as active at baseline as compared with other participants. Similarly, the odds of low DPP were 27 percent lower.
The association between physical activity and perfusion pressure was independent of intraocular pressure, the researchers noted, but was largely mediated through diastolic blood pressure.
"Physical activity may offer a safe and simple method for reducing the risk of developing OAG," the authors wrote. "However, the role of lifestyle modification in the prevention of OAG requires further investigation."
This research was published in the October issue of the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science