The prevalence of glaucoma in indigenous Australians within Central Australia: the Central Australian Ocular Health Study
Henderson, Timothy R
Craig, Jamie E
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Aims To determine the prevalence of glaucoma within the indigenous Australian population living in central Australia. Methods 1884 individuals aged ≥20 years, living in one of 30 remote communities within the statistical local area of ‘Central Australia,’ were recruited for this study. This equated to 36% of those aged ≥20 years and 67% of those aged ≥40 years within this district. Slit-lamp examination of the anterior segment and intraocular pressure measurement, followed by stereoscopic slit-lamp funduscopy of the optic nerve, was performed. Selected patients underwent automated visual-field testing. The diagnosis of glaucoma was based on pre-existing definitions. Glaucoma prevalence data are presented. Results Seventeen individuals had glaucoma (0.90%). Causes of secondary glaucoma were found in four with neovascular glaucoma, two with uveitic glaucoma and four who had developed glaucoma subsequent to trauma or surgery. The remaining seven had no identifiable cause for their glaucoma and were thus classified as open-angle glaucoma equating to a prevalence of 0.52% (95% CI 0.14% to 0.90%) for those aged ≥40 years. Of these, four had an intraocular pressure ≤21 mm Hg, and three had an intraocular pressure >21 mm Hg. Conclusion The prevalence of open-angle glaucoma among indigenous Australians within central Australia was 0.52% for those aged ≥40 years. After adjustment for the age distribution of our sample, this is one-third the prevalence seen among the non-indigenous Australian population and is despite a higher prevalence of ocular parameters considered to be associated with glaucoma.