Purpose: To identify risk factors associated with visual field (VF) loss on first presentation of glaucoma.
Methods: A case-control study of 107 consecutive newly diagnosed glaucoma patients was performed. Information collected included demographic data, reasons for referral, ophthalmological assessment and VF testing. VF grading was based on Advanced Glaucoma Intervention Study (AGIS) scoring and was additionally classified for the presence of a nasal step, paracentral scotoma and/or arcuate scotoma.
Results: Demographic parameters were: mean age 59 years (standard deviation [SD] 14), mean deviation -4.37 dB (SD 4.5), intraocular pressure 21.4 mmHg (SD 6.6) and cup:disc ratio 0.69 (SD 0.1). Thirty-seven per cent of all participants had a positive family history of glaucoma. Older age was associated with a VF defect at presentation (mean age of 54 years with no VF defect, compared with 63 years for mild, moderate or severe VF defect, P = 0.0014). Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified positive family history (odds ratio [OR] 10.43; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.67-67.49) and age (OR 1.15; 95% CI 1.06-1.26) as independent risk factors for VF loss at presentation. Fifty-six per cent had a paracentral VF defect at first diagnosis and 29% of patients showed evidence of substantial VF loss with AGIS score of >/=6 on initial presentation.
Conclusions: Patients who have a positive family history of glaucoma are 10 times more likely to have a VF defect at the time of glaucoma diagnosis. An increased focus on family history may help identify these patients earlier and prevent significant visual loss at the time of presentation.