Half of Older Adults With Glaucoma Unaware They Have It

Furthermore, two-thirds with undiagnosed glaucoma had normal intraocular pressure
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TUESDAY, Sept. 12, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Many older adults with glaucoma may be undiagnosed, according to a study published online July 17 in Acta Ophthalmologica.

Lena Havstam Johansson, from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, and colleagues estimated the prevalence of and risk factors for open-angle glaucoma among 70-year-old Swedes. The analysis included 1,182 participants responding to a questionnaire on self-reported glaucoma who were tested for blood pressure (BP) and diabetes.

The researchers found that glaucoma prevalence was 4.8 percent, of which 56 percent was previously undiagnosed. The nonglaucomatous group had a higher proportion of participants with diastolic BP >90 mm Hg (8.3 percent) versus the glaucoma group (0 percent). A significantly larger proportion of the glaucoma group reported a family history of glaucoma (39 percent) compared with the nonglaucomatous group (1.1 percent). In people with previously unknown glaucoma, intraocular pressure was ≤21 mm Hg in two-thirds of participants, and best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was lower in eyes with previously unknown glaucoma than in eyes without glaucoma.

"The majority of the newly discovered glaucoma cases had normal intraocular pressure levels (i.e., ≤21 mmHg) leading to a higher risk of not being diagnosed," the authors write. "Interestingly, visual function (i.e., BCVA in the best eye) did not differ between patients with glaucoma and nonglaucomatous participants, since most subjects had unilateral disease, suggesting that visual-related quality of life may not be impaired in the majority of glaucoma cases."

Abstract/Full Text

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