The prevalence of glaucoma among Eskimos of northwest Alaska

Arch Ophthalmol. 1987 Apr;105(4):482-5. doi: 10.1001/archopht.1987.01060040052031.


Data collected during a population-based general ophthalmic prevalence survey among Alaska's northwestern Eskimos were analyzed to determine the prevalence of glaucoma. Of the 1686 Eskimos examined, 11 cases (0.65%) of glaucoma were found, including ten cases of angle closure glaucoma (both chronic and acute forms) and a single case of open angle glaucoma. This indicates the rarity of open angle glaucoma in Eskimo eyes and a reversal of the typical pattern found in the general US population. Narrow angle glaucoma occurred at a rate of 2.65% in Eskimos older than 40 years of age, the prevalence increasing with age in both sexes. Women were afflicted almost four times as often as men, and the sex difference persisted across all age groups. Anterior chamber angles appeared clinically narrower with age and among women. Seventeen percent of all Eskimos older than 50 years had occludable angles by gonioscopy. These findings target older Eskimo women as a group particularly at risk for angle closure glaucoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Alaska
  • Female
  • Glaucoma / ethnology*
  • Humans
  • Inuit*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors