Epidemiology of glaucoma in sub-saharan Africa: prevalence, incidence and risk factors.

Kyari, F; Abdull, MM; Bastawrous, A; Gilbert, CE; Faal, H; (2013) Epidemiology of glaucoma in sub-saharan Africa: prevalence, incidence and risk factors. Middle East African journal of ophthalmology, 20 (2). pp. 111-25. ISSN 0974-9233 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4103/0974-9233.110605

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PURPOSE The purpose of this study is to review the epidemiology of different types of glaucoma relevant to Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and to discuss the evidence regarding the risk factors for onset and progression of glaucoma, including risk factors for glaucoma blindness. METHODS Electronic databases (PubMed, MedLine, African Journals Online- AJOL) were searched using the full text, Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) terms, author(s) and title to identify publications since 1982 in the following areas: population-based glaucoma prevalence and incidence studies in SSA and in African-derived black populations outside Africa; population-based prevalence and incidence of blindness and visual impairment studies in SSA including rapid assessment methods, which elucidate the glaucoma-specific blindness prevalence; studies of risk factors for glaucoma; and publications that discussed public health approaches for the control of glaucoma in Africa. RESULTS Studies highlighted that glaucoma in SSA is a public health problem and predominantly open-angle glaucoma. It is the second-leading cause of blindness, has a high prevalence, an early onset and progresses more rapidly than in Caucasians. These factors are further compounded by poor awareness and low knowledge about glaucoma even by persons affected by the condition. CONCLUSION Glaucoma care needs to be given high priority in Vision 2020 programs in Africa. Many questions remain unanswered and there is a need for further research in glaucoma in SSA in all aspects especially epidemiology and clinical care and outcomes involving randomized controlled trials. Genetic and genome-wide association studies may aid identification of high-risk groups. Social sciences and qualitative studies, health economics and health systems research will also enhance public health approaches for the prevention of blindness due to glaucoma.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Clinical Research
Research Centre: The International Centre for Evidence in Disability
International Centre for Eye Health
Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
PubMed ID: 23741130
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/967483


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