Issues in the epidemiology and population-based screening of primary angle-closure glaucoma

Surv Ophthalmol. 1992 May-Jun;36(6):411-23. doi: 10.1016/s0039-6257(05)80022-0.


Among Caucasians, it is well known that 75-95% of primary glaucoma is due to open-angle glaucoma (POAG), with angle-closure (PACG) comprising only a very small minority of cases. These figures are reversed among other groups such as Asians and Eskimos, where PACG makes up 80-90% of primary glaucoma. Among Eskimos, the prevalence of PACG has been reported as 2-8%, as compared to 0.1% among Caucasians. It appears that a population tendency toward shallow anterior chambers may explain the excess burden of PACG morbidity. Among Asians, the prevalence of PACG is intermediate between Caucasians and Eskimos. Existing biometrical data do not show a clear tendency toward shallower anterior chambers among Asians. PACG may be screened for on a population basis by means of various techniques that estimate axial or limbal anterior chamber depth, measure intraocular pressure, or evaluate the optic disc or visual fields. Demographic information and medical and family history will also be of great importance in screening for PACG in large populations. Groups at increased risk for the disease include women, individuals over 50, first-degree relatives of PACG probands, and hyperopes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asia / epidemiology
  • Black People
  • Glaucoma, Angle-Closure / epidemiology*
  • Glaucoma, Angle-Closure / ethnology
  • Humans
  • Inuit
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Vision Screening*
  • White People