Racial disparity in the prevalence of glaucoma in the United States

Karen Allison

Abstract


Glaucoma, a disorder of the optic nerve, occurs when the intraocular pressure, a risk factor for glaucoma, is elevated, leading to an eventual loss of sight.  This study’s purpose is to evaluate the racial disparity in the prevalence of glaucoma and present different ways to improve early diagnosis and treatment outcomes among glaucoma patients.  A literature review is performed using the PubMed database to examine the associated risk factors and prevalence of glaucoma among racial grouping.  The literature indicates that early diagnosis and treatment is the most effective approach for combating the considerable social and economic cost of blindness caused by this disease.  Studies also suggest that outreach, educational, and screening programs to combat eye diseases should be geared towards high-risk populations such as African Americans and Latinos, as these groups tend to be less aware of their eye problems and have limited access to treatments.  The establishment of projects to prevent blindness from glaucoma will alert medical care providers of the need for early evaluation for risk factors, which in turn will allow for the allocation of resources to reimburse for the treatment provided.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.16964/er.v5i1.73

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