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Neurological Disorders - Ophthalmology - Physiology

Neuroretinal Rim Area and Body Mass Index
Published: Monday, January 09, 2012
Author: Liang Xu et al.

by Liang Xu, Ya X. Wang, Shuang Wang, Jost B. Jonas


To examine associations between neuroretinal rim area, pressure related factors and anthropometric parameters in a population-based setting.


The population-based cross-sectional Beijing Eye Study 2006 included 3251 subjects with an age of 45+ years. The participants underwent a detailed ophthalmic examination. Exclusion criteria for our study were high myopia of more than -8 diopters and angle-closure glaucoma.


The study included 2917 subjects with a mean age of 59.8±9.8 years (range: 45–89 years). Mean neuroretinal rim area was 1.97±0.38 mm2, mean intraocular pressure 15.6±3.0 mmHg, mean diastolic blood pressure 79.0±5.9 mm Hg, mean systolic blood pressure 133.5±11.1 mmHg, and mean body mass index was 25.5±3.7. In univariate analysis, neuroretinal rim area was significantly associated with optic disc size, open-angle glaucoma, refractive error, age and gender. After adjustment for these parameters in a multivariate analysis, a larger neuroretinal rim area was significantly correlated with a higher body mass index (P<0.001), in addition to be associated with a lower intraocular pressure (P?=?0.004), lower mean blood pressure (P?=?0.02), and higher ocular perfusion pressure.


In a general population, neuroretinal rim as equivalent of the optic nerve fibers is related to a higher body mass index, after adjustment for disc area, refractive error, age, gender, open-angle glaucoma, intraocular pressure, blood pressure and ocular perfusion pressure. Since body mass index is associated with cerebrospinal fluid pressure, the latter may be associated with neuroretinal rim area. It may serve as an indirect hint for an association between cerebrospinal fluid pressure and glaucoma.