Purpose: To compare mortality rates in glaucoma patients and matched controls from a large population screening as well as glaucoma patients diagnosed through routine clinical examination (self-selected patients).
Methods: A population-based screening of 32,918 elderly citizens of Malmö was conducted between 1992 and 1997. Individuals with newly detected, previously untreated open-angle glaucoma were identified. Two controls of the same age and gender were chosen among the screening negative participants for each patient. From the same birth cohorts, glaucoma patients seen in routine clinical practice (self-selected patients) were identified through retrospective examination of patient records from the Eye Department at Malmö University Hospital. The number and time of deaths for each group were determined based on centrally administered registers.
Results: Mean follow-up time was 7.75 years. Five-year mortality did not differ significantly between the groups, and was 9.2% among glaucoma patients from the screening (n=402), and 11.9% among the controls (n=804; p=0.7406). Self-selected glaucoma patients had a 5-year mortality of 8.5% (n=354), not significantly different from the screening-detected glaucoma patients (p=0.1361). Among glaucoma patients, neither IOP (p=0.1781) nor pseudoexfoliation (p=0.8882) was related to significantly increased mortality.
Conclusions: The results of this study strongly suggest that the life expectancy of glaucoma patients does not differ from the population at large.