Rise in health burden of glaucoma worldwide


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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The health burden of glaucoma has continuously increased in the past 25 years, and is distributed unevenly, according to a new study in Acta Ophthalmologica.

Researchers used data from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors Study 2015 to evaluate trends and variations in the global health burden of glaucoma. 

They found that from 1990 to 2015, the disability-adjusted life years (DALY) because of glaucoma increased by 122 per cent. The crude DALY rate increased from 4.6 (95% CI 3.15-6.35) per 100,000 people in 1990 to 7.34 (95% CI 5.01-10.15) per 100,000 people in 2015. The age-standardised DALY rate because of glaucoma increased by 15 per cent.

Both men and women showed similar increasing trends with ageing, with a peak at 60 years and increasing again from the age of 75 years. A higher age-standardised DALY rate was associated with lower socio-economic level. Older age, being female, higher ambient ultraviolet radiation and higher level of air pollution exposure were all significantly associated with higher burden of glaucoma. 

“Global glaucoma burden did not improve dramatically, indicating the need for persistent investment, educational campaign and early screening for tackling glaucoma,” said senior author Dr Wenyong Huang of Sun Yat-sen University in China.