Purpose: To investigate the relationship between socioeconomic status and the extent of visual field loss in POAG and treated OHT patients at their first presentation to Manchester Royal Eye Hospital.
Methods: A cohort of 113 glaucoma patients seen between 1995 and 2005 was reviewed. The clinical parameters intraocular pressure, C : D ratio, family history of glaucoma, visual acuity, extent of visual field loss, and demographic parameters: age, gender, ethnicity, and residential postcode were extracted from hospital records. The socioeconomic status of each patient was estimated from the patient's residential postcode with the ACORN index (group 1: affluent and group 2: socioeconomically deprived).
Results: In comparison to group 1 (n=49), patients in group 2 (n=64) presented with more advanced field loss, lower educational attainment (18 vs 98% with no or unknown qualification), and were less aware of glaucoma in the family (27 vs 17%). Patients with a number of systemic health problems had worse vision, more severe visual field loss, and worse clinical attendance (P<0.05).
Conclusions: The extent of visual field loss in glaucoma patients at first presentation is related to a combination of clinical and socioeconomic factors including the patient's postcode. This finding could be used to target future case-finding resources.