Purpose: To estimate the prevalence and incidence of open-angle glaucoma among black and white persons in the United States and to characterize quantitatively their life experience with glaucoma using a life table approach to estimate disease duration.
Methods: Review of published data on glaucoma combined with statistical models to estimate prevalence and incidence.
Results: The association of open-angle glaucoma with age was examined separately for white and black persons. By the year 2000, the number of persons in the United States with primary open-angle glaucoma is estimated to be 2.47 million (1.84 million white and 619,000 black Americans). A model using derived incidence rates for open-angle glaucoma (OAG) and United States mortality data indicated that the average black American has OAG 27% longer than the average white American (16.3 years compared to 12.8 years).
Conclusions: Meta-analysis to obtain pooled prevalence estimates for glaucoma provides useful information on length of disease and age distribution of those affected. It may assist in estimating treatment effects and associated costs to derive data that effect health care decisions.