Objective: To investigate differences in visual function between the healthy eyes of people of African (AD) and European descent (ED).
Methods: Visual function was assessed in 393 AD and 367 ED participants selected from the African Descent and Glaucoma Evaluation Study and the Diagnostic Innovations in Glaucoma Study. Participants had normal appearance of the optic disc and intraocular pressure of less than 22 mm Hg. Each participant had 2 reliable 24-2 standard automated perimetry tests, and most had short-wavelength automated perimetry and frequency-doubling technology tests. The generalized estimating equation was used to adjust for intereye correlations. Results were adjusted for age, vertical cup-disc ratio, disc size, central corneal thickness, and presence of high blood pressure.
Results: The AD participants were younger (mean [SD] age, 46.2 [13.2] years) than the ED participants (age, 49.5 [16.6] years) (P = .003). The AD participants had worse mean deviation and pattern standard deviation and more points triggered as abnormal on the total and pattern deviation plots compared with ED participants on all tests (P < .05). A larger percentage of AD participants had confirmed abnormal glaucoma hemifield test results on standard automated perimetry only.
Conclusions: People of AD have significantly worse performance than people of ED on all tests of visual function. Additional research using longitudinal data is needed to determine the cause of these small but significant ancestry differences in visual function.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00221923.