NIGERIAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PRACTICE, vol.22, no.4, pp.539-545, 2019 (SCI-Expanded)
Objective: Obesity affects many organ systems. There have been few studies on the ophthalmological effects of obesity. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the changes in the ophthalmological parameters in obese children. Subjects and Methods: The study included 61 obese and 35 age-and gender-matched control subjects. Obesity was defined as body mass index-standard deviation score (BMI-SDS) 2 SD. Children with a BMI-SDS between > 1 SD and <+1 SD whilst otherwise healthy were recruited as the control group. All clinical and ophthalmological investigations were performed by a pediatric endocrinologist and an experienced ophthalmologist. The ophthalmological examination and intraocular pressure (IOP) measurement was performed. The average retinal fiber layer (RNFL), retinal ganglion cell (RGC), central macular thickness (CMT), cup-to-disk ratio (C/D), and central choroidal thickness (CT) were measured using spectral domain optical coherence tomography. The anthropometric, biochemical, and ophthalmological parameters of the obese and control subjects were compared. Results: IOP was higher in the obese group compared to the control group (P = 0.008), whereas the average RNFL was lower in the obese group (P = 0.035). There was a negative correlation between the average RNFL and BMI-SDS (P = 0.044) and waistuhip ratio (P = 0.015). There was no statistically significant difference between the RGC, C/D, CMT, and CT of the obese and control groups. IOP was negatively correlated with HOMA-IR, body fat mass, body fat percentage, and diastolic blood pressure. Conclusion: In the present study, which evaluated obesity and its effects on ophthalmological parameters, the elevated IOP and decreased RNFL thickness detected in the obese group may suggest an increased risk for these patients of developing glaucoma at a younger age. Therefore, regular ophthalmological examinations of obese children are essential for prompt diagnosis and appropriate management.