Objective: To determine the distribution of intraocular pressure (IOP) as measured by a noncontact tonometer (NCT) and risk factors responsible for ocular hypertension in elderly Chinese people. Design: Population-based study of randomly sampled Chinese people 65 years and older in Shihpai, Taipei, Taiwan. Main Outcome Measures: Participants completed an interview and underwent a physical examination and a standardized ophthalmic examination, including IOP measurement with the NCT. People with a history of glaucoma were excluded. Risk factors were assessed using multivariate regression analysis. Results: Of 1361 study participants examined, 1292 (95.4%) had no history of glaucoma and were therefore included in the study. Their mean±SD IOP was 12.9±3.1 mm Hg. The IOP decreased significantly (P<.001) with age, changing from 13.3±3.0 mm Hg in participants aged 65 to 69 years to 11.6±2.8 mm Hg in those 80 years and older. Women had significantly higher IOP than men (P<.001). In the multivariate regression analysis, decreasing age, female sex, increasing systolic blood pressure, a history of diabetes, and alcohol drinking were significantly associated with increasing IOP. Conclusions: The distribution of IOP in elderly Chinese people is similar to that found in other East Asian people, with a negative age-IOP relationship. The mean IOP values in this elderly Chinese population were lower than in white people but higher than in Japanese people in similarly aged groups. Establishing the epidemiologic characteristics of IOP with the NCT is important for the mass screening of ocular hypertension.
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