Transitions Optical Releases Multicultural Initiative Report

A new report–Cultural Connections: The 2012 Multicultural Initiative Report–overviews Transitions Optical’s multicultural efforts to date, including research conducted; resources available to both eyecare professionals and culturally diverse consumers; and programs executed through partnerships with industry and cultural organizations. The initiative report also includes profiles of Transitions Optical’s Diversity Advisory Board members, who oversee all efforts and ensure they are culturally appropriate and relevant.

Transitions Optical’s multicultural initiative report is available free-of-charge through Transitions Optical Customer Service at CService@Transitions.com or (800) 848-1506. A printable PDF version is also available online within the “My Industry” section of MyMulticulturalToolkit.com and includes links to useful tools and resources for eyecare professionals.

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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.

Asian Americans Face Higher Glaucoma Risk

Racial differences seen in the risks of open-angle, narrow-angle, and normal-tension glaucoma. The investigators (published in Journal of Ophthalmology) found that the OAG prevalence rate for Asian Americans (6.52%) was higher than that of non-Hispanic whites (5.59%), and similar to Latinos (6.40%). Relative to other races, the prevalence rates of NAG and NTG were significantly higher among Asian Americans (3.01 and 0.73%, respectively) relative to other races. Asian Americans had an increased risk of OAG, NAG, and NTG 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.