Objective: To estimate the prevalence and distribution of open-angle glaucoma (OAG) in the United States by age, race/ethnicity, and gender.
Methods: Summary prevalence estimates of OAG were prepared separately for black, Hispanic, and white subjects in 5-year age intervals starting at 40 years. The estimated rates were based on a meta-analysis of recent population-based studies in the United States, Australia, and Europe. These rates were applied to 2000 US census data and to projected US population figures for 2020 to estimate the number of the US population with OAG.
Results: The overall prevalence of OAG in the US population 40 years and older is estimated to be 1.86% (95% confidence interval, 1.75%-1.96%), with 1.57 million white and 398 000 black persons affected. After applying race-, age-, and gender-specific rates to the US population as determined in the 2000 US census, we estimated that OAG affects 2.22 million US citizens. Owing to the rapidly aging population, the number with OAG will increase by 50% to 3.36 million in 2020. Black subjects had almost 3 times the age-adjusted prevalence of glaucoma than white subjects.
Conclusions: Open-angle glaucoma affects more than 2 million individuals in the United States. Owing to the rapid aging of the US population, this number will increase to more than 3 million by 2020.