Background: Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is a disorder of elevated intracranial pressure (ICP) with no identifiable cause, associated with papilledema, vision loss, and headache. Previous studies have observed a relationship between weight gain and vision loss in women with IIH. We retrospectively examined a population of women with IIH to determine an association between weight gain in the year before diagnosis and the presence of visual field deficits. Methods: This cross-sectional study included women who enrolled in the Intracranial Hypertension Registry (IHR) between 2003 and 2005 and met study criteria for IIH. Data were obtained from mailed questionnaires and review of registrant medical charts. Prevalence ratios were used to assess the relationship between weight measures during the year before diagnosis and abnormal visual field findings at diagnosis. Results: The study population consisted of 159 females aged 13-64. The mean weight of the study population 1 year before diagnosis was 92kg (standard deviation [SD] 27kg). Mean weight gain was 5kg (SD 13kg) over the year before diagnosis. Visual field findings at diagnosis were abnormal in 84% (n=122) of study subjects. There was no association between visual field deficits and body mass index (BMI), weight gain, or percent change in ideal body weight (IBW). Conclusions: Weight change over the year before diagnosis was not associated with visual field deficits at diagnosis in this registry population of women with IIH.
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