Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide, and as the proportion of those over age 40 increases, so will the prevalence of glaucoma. The pathogenesis of primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) is unclear and multiple ocular risk factors have been proposed, including intraocular pressure, ocular perfusion pressure, ocular blood flow, myopia, central corneal thickness, and optic disc hemorrhages. The purpose of this review was to analyze the association between systemic vascular risk factors (including hypertension, diabetes, age, and migraine) and POAG, based on major epidemiological studies. Reports presenting the association between POAG and systemic vascular risk factors included a total of over 50,000 patients. Several epidemiological studies confirmed the importance of vascular risk factors, particularly hypertension and blood pressure dipping, in the pathogenesis and progression of glaucomatous optic neuropathy. We found that diabetes mellitus is associated with elevated intraocular pressure, but has no clear association with POAG. No significant correlation between migraine and POAG was found, however, the definition of migraine varied between studies.