Several studies in the adult population have shown that obesity is an independent risk factor for elevated intraocular pressure (IOP), whereas data in the paediatric population are sparse and controversial. The purpose of the present study is to investigate the relationship between body mass index (BMI), blood pressure (BP), and IOP in healthy school children.
The survey was conducted among a random sample of 8-year-old Italian students. Data were collected on their health status and behaviours related to obesity (physical activity, food and drinking habits, etc.). Physical examinations, conducted at school, included measurements of height, weight, BP, and IOP.
Five hundred and seventy-six subjects were recruited (92.8% response rate); 42.4% were overweight or obese, 58.9% consumed inadequate daily servings of fruit and vegetables, and 87.5% were involved in sedentary activities. Elevated BP/hypertension (HTN) affected 3.6% and high IOP was revealed in 12.5% of the children. In the multivariate analysis, elevated BP/HTN was the only significant determinant of ocular HTN (OR 5.36, 95% CI 1.95-14.73, p = 0.001).
Our results show that high IOP affects 12.5% of 8-year-old school children and appears to be associated with high BP related to a high BMI.

© 2021 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.