Racial Disparities Persist in Glaucoma Testing

Despite a long-standing healthcare initiative to address the issue, people belonging to racial minority groups are less likely to undergo ophthalmologic testing than white people, according to a report presented at the American Glaucoma Society’s 22nd Annual Meeting. Previous studies have shown a higher prevalence of open-angle glaucoma in patients belonging to racial minority groups than whites.

People older than 40 years with atleast 1 year of continuous insurance coverage were included in the analysis. The researchers used these findings to assess black, white, Hispanic, and Asian American male and female cohorts. The records of 149,018 people with open-angle glaucoma were analyzed. Mean age was 61.3 years, 118,062 were white, 15,905 were black, 9376 were Hispanic, 4350 were Asian, and 53.8% were women.

The odds of undergoing visual field testing actually decreased for all racial groups, including whites, from 2001 to 2009, with the largest decreases among Hispanic men (63%) and women (57%). The smallest decrease was among Asian men. In comparison. the odds of undergoing other ocular imaging increased for all groups, increasing the most for black men and women (173%) and the least for Hispanic women (77%). For fundus photography, Hispanic women faired worse than their white counterparts.

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3 thoughts on “Racial Disparities Persist in Glaucoma Testing

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