Purpose To investigate the distribution of intraocular pressure (IOP) and its associated factors in a large Korean population based on the data from the nationwide cross-sectional survey. Methods We obtained 2009-2010 data from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) (n = 17 901). After excluding individuals under 19 years of age, a total of 13 431 subjects were enrolled. All participants completed a comprehensive questionnaire and underwent an ocular examination including measurement of IOP by Goldmann applanation tonometry, as well as a systemic evaluation including blood pressure measurements, anthropometry and blood tests. Results The mean IOP in the right eye was 13.99 ± 2.75 mmHg, and in the left eye, 13.99 ± 2.75 mmHg, representing no significant bilateral difference. There was, however, a significant difference between males (14.19 ± 2.78 mmHg) and females (13.79 ± 2.70 mmHg) (p < 0.001). Multiple regression analysis revealed that higher IOP was significantly correlated with male sex, higher myopic refractive error, higher body mass index, higher systolic blood pressure, higher fasting plasma glucose and higher total cholesterol (all p < 0.05). On the other hand, age, histories of smoking or migraine or cold hands/feet were not significantly correlated with IOP (all p > 0.05). Conclusions In the general Korean population, IOP increases with male sex and increasing myopia. Further, IOP is significantly correlated with systemic factors relating to cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.
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