The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between psychosocial stress and intraocular pressure among apparently healthy subjects. Psychosocial stress among 1,461 public school workers (883 men and 578 women) was measured using the inventory to measure psychosocial stress (IMPS) and intraocular pressure was measured using a non-contact tonometer (Topcon CT-90). After controlling for the effects of likely confounding variables such as age, body mass index (BMI), glycosylated hemoglobin, systolic blood pressure, alcohol consumption, smoking status, and exercise, partial correlations and hierarchical multiple regression analysis were performed in order to test the hypothesis that IMPS-measured stress score was associated with intraocular pressure. IMPS-measured stress score was found to correlate positively with intraocular pressure in women after controlling for the effects of confounding variables, whereas this relationship was not found in men. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis indicated that IMPS-measured stress score was positively associated with intraocular pressure in women independent of confounding variables, but not in men. Perturbations of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis associated with stress are considered to be partly responsible for an increase in intraocular pressure among people suffering from psychosocial stress. Further research is needed to elucidate the relationship between this stress-associated increase in intraocular pressure | and open-angle glaucoma.
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