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Why is primary open angle glaucoma more prevalent in people

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of African descent?...
Why is primary open angle glaucoma more prevalent in people of African descent?
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Eye
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
12/13/2011
Eye Doctor: Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD replied 6 years ago
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
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Eye Doctor: Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD replied 6 years ago
That is a very good question. Not only has primary open angel glaucoma (POAG) been found to be more common in people of African decent but it usually is more resistant to treatment and causes many more cases of blindness in those affected.
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Eye Doctor: Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD replied 6 years ago
In a very large, well designed clinical study, called the OHTS POAG was found to be 4 to 5x more common in black patients then their white counterparts. It was more likely to be diagnosed at an earlier age and be more advanced in blacks then whites and, therefor, cause more visual loss.
When the study was reviewed using statistical analysis no correlation could be found with common glaucoma/risk factors, such as central corneal thickness, optic nerve anatomy (cup to disk ratio), angle anatomy or larger baseline vertical cup to disk ratios.
What does this all mean? Well, it means that clinical experience teaches us that POAG is more prevalent and more severe when present in blacks then white folks but, even with the very best of research we really don't know why.
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