Asian Americans Face Higher Glaucoma Risk

Racial differences seen in the risks of open-angle, narrow-angle, and normal-tension glaucoma

THURSDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Asian Americans may be at greater risk for glaucoma compared to other races in the United States, according to a study published online Feb. 10 in Ophthalmology.

Joshua D. Stein, M.D., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues examined the incidence, prevalence, and risk of glaucoma in Asian Americans compared to people of other races in 2,259,061 eye-care recipients aged 40 years or older. Rates of open-angle glaucoma (OAG), narrow-angle glaucoma (NAG), and normal-tension glaucoma (NTG) were evaluated and compared among different races and Asian ethnicities.

The investigators found that the OAG prevalence rate for Asian Americans (6.52 percent) was higher than that of non-Hispanic whites (5.59 percent), and similar to Latinos (6.40 percent). Relative to other races, the prevalence rates of NAG and NTG were significantly higher among Asian Americans (3.01 and 0.73 percent, respectively) relative to other races. Asian Americans had an increased risk of OAG (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 1.51), NAG (adjusted HR, 2.23), and NTG (adjusted HR, 2.59) compared with non-Hispanic whites. Vietnamese, Pakistani, and Chinese Americans had higher risks of NAG; whereas, Japanese Americans had an increased risk of NTG compared to non-Asian Americans.

"Eye-care providers should be aware of the increased risk for OAG, NAG, and NTG among Asian Americans relative to other races. Knowing Asian-American patients ancestral country of origin may permit more precise estimation of their risks for OAG, NAG, and NTG," the authors write.

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