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The prevalence of glaucoma in 45-year-old New Zealanders | 2022
Singh, A., Gale, J., Cheyne, ... Show all » K., Ambler, A. Ramrakha, S., Poulton, R., Wilson, G. « Hide
New Zealand Medical Journal , 2022, 135 .
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Our ref: NZ102
Show abstract » aim: We aimed to estimate the prevalence of glaucoma in New Zealand using a population-based birth cohort of 45-year-olds.
methods: Study members of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health & Development Study participated (n=938 out of 1037 births (91%)). The data collected included visual acuity, visual field (VF), refraction, central corneal thickness, intraocular pressure (IOP), axial length, spectral domain optical coherence tomography (OCT), and non-mydriatic fundus photographs. Two phthalmologists reviewed data independently to generate a consensus glaucoma status: “Normal” if no suspicion of glaucoma; “Ocular hypertension” if IOP >21 mmHg; “Glaucoma suspect” if optic disc photograph was suspicious for glaucoma with no more than borderline or non-corresponding VF or OCT abnormalities; and “Glaucoma” if optic disc photograph was suspicious for glaucoma and there were corresponding abnormalities of the OCT or VF.
results: Of 891 participants with sufficient data to assign a glaucoma status, 804 were “Normal” (90.2% [CI 88.3–92.2]), 15 were “Ocular hypertension” (1.68% [95% confidence interval (CI) .84–2.5]), 65 were “Glaucoma suspect” (7.30% [95% CI 5.6–9.0]), and 7 were classified as “Glaucoma” (0.79% [95% CI 0.21–1.4]). An additional 73 participants (8.2%, [95% CI 6.3%–10%]) had abnormalities on the OCT scan but were not deemed to be glaucoma suspects.
conclusion: The prevalence of glaucoma in New Zealand is between 0.2% and 1.4%, consistent with other population-based studies in the same age group. The study highlights the sensitivity of OCT and the potential for misinterpretation and over-investigation.

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