Observing the prevalence of glaucoma among Swedish 70-year-olds

Around one in 20 participants had glaucoma – with more than half of these cases new diagnoses

An older person sitting down rests their hands on their walking cane

A study from the University of Gothenburg has reported on the prevalence of glaucoma in a Swedish population of 70-year-olds.

The research, which was published in Acta Ophthalmologica, involved a survey of 1182 residents of Gothenburg, Sweden. All participants completed a questionnaire about self-reported ocular morbidity and family history of glaucoma. The group also completed blood pressure and diabetes tests.

Around half of participants (560) received an ophthalmic examination, including best-corrected visual acuity, intraocular pressure, central corneal thickness, contrast sensitivity, perimetry and photos of the retina and lens.

Prevalence of glaucoma in the cohort was 4.8%, with more than half of these cases (56%) previously undiagnosed.

“Among the probable glaucoma cases in this study, the majority (67%) had normal IOP,” the authors highlighted.

“This corroborates the findings from previous studies that persons with normal-tension glaucoma are overlooked in reality and therefore at risk of not being diagnosed,” they shared.

They highlighted that previous research has demonstrated that surveying the general population for glaucoma is not cost effective.

“Instead, maybe persons with risk factors such as older age and a family history of glaucoma may benefit from screening,” the authors observed.