Purpose: To evaluate the prevalence of pseudoexfoliation (PEX) syndrome and open-angle glaucoma (OAG) among 66-year-old people in the municipality of Skellefteå in northern Sweden.
Methods: A population-based study comprising 339 individuals, representing 40% of the age group and 87% of those randomly selected. The examination included tonometry, dilated slit-lamp biomicroscopy, optic disc evaluation and a visual field analysis if glaucoma was suspected.
Results: The overall prevalence of PEX syndrome was 23%[95% confidence interval (CI): 20-26%], 29% (CI: 24-34%) in women and 15% (CI: 10-19%) in men (P < 0.01). The intraocular pressure (IOP) in PEX eyes was higher (17.3 mmHg, SD 4.5 mmHg) than in eyes without PEX [15.7 mmHg, SD 3.7 mmHg; P < 0.001]. IOP exceeded 22 mmHg in 17% (CI: 11-23%) of the PEX eyes and in 3.0% (CI: 1.9-4.1%) of the non-PEX eyes. Seven individuals (2.1%) had OAG. Six were associated with PEX, i.e. 7.7% of the PEX individuals.
Conclusion: PEX syndrome is common in northern Sweden, affecting every fourth individual reaching the age of 66 years. The prevalence in women is twice that in men. Elevated IOP is roughly six times more frequent in eyes with PEX than in eyes without PEX syndrome. The prevalence of OAG is 2.1%.