Glaucoma Is not an Equal Opportunity Thief

Wrapping up Glaucoma Awareness Month over at PLOS Public Health Perspectives blog with a post on the ethnic disparities in the risk of developing glaucoma as well as current research in identifying the genetic basis for glaucoma in Asians:

Glaucoma isn’t exactly an equal opportunity thief, either. While it is estimated that over 4 million Americans have glaucoma, the prevalence of glaucoma in African Americans and Latino (particularly Mexican) Americans is significantly greater than in Caucasian Americans. African Americans are also more likely to develop glaucoma at a younger age and suffer blindness from the disease. While roughly 90% of all glaucoma cases in the US are what is known as primary open angle glaucoma (POAG), Asian Americans are at the greatest risk of all ethnicities to develop a different form of glaucoma called primary angle closure glaucoma (PACG)(1). The genetic causes underlying glaucoma remain unclear, but these ethnic disparities in the risk of developing glaucoma suggest a genetic basis that is ethnicity-specific. Read more

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