Article Text

Global variations and time trends in the prevalence of primary open angle glaucoma (POAG): a systematic review and meta-analysis
  1. Venediktos V Kapetanakis1,
  2. Michelle P Y Chan2,
  3. Paul J Foster2,3,
  4. Derek G Cook1,
  5. Christopher G Owen1,
  6. Alicja R Rudnicka1
  1. 1Population Health Research Institute, St George's, University of London, London, UK
  2. 2Division of Genetics and Epidemiology, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, London, UK
  3. 3NIHR Biomedical Research Centre Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Alicja R Rudnicka, Population Health Research Institute, St George's, University of London, Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 0RE, UK; arudnick{at}


Systematic review of published population based surveys to examine the relationship between primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) prevalence and demographic factors. A literature search identified population-based studies with quantitative estimates of POAG prevalence (to October 2014). Multilevel binomial logistic regression of log-odds of POAG was used to examine the effect of age and gender among populations of different geographical and ethnic origins, adjusting for study design factors. Eighty-one studies were included (37 countries, 216 214 participants, 5266 POAG cases). Black populations showed highest POAG prevalence, with 5.2% (95% credible interval (CrI) 3.7%, 7.2%) at 60 years, rising to 12.2% (95% CrI 8.9% to 16.6%) at 80 years. Increase in POAG prevalence per decade of age was greatest among Hispanics (2.31, 95% CrI 2.12, 2.52) and White populations (1.99, 95% CrI 1.86, 2.12), and lowest in East and South Asians (1.48, 95% CrI 1.39, 1.57; 1.56, 95% CrI 1.31, 1.88, respectively). Men were more likely to have POAG than women (1.30, 95% CrI 1.22, 1.41). Older studies had lower POAG prevalence, which was related to the inclusion of intraocular pressure in the glaucoma definition. Studies with visual field data on all participants had a higher POAG prevalence than those with visual field data on a subset. Globally 57.5 million people (95% CI 46.4 to 73.1 million) were affected by POAG in 2015, rising to 65.5 million (95% CrI 52.8, 83.2 million) by 2020. This systematic review provides the most precise estimates of POAG prevalence and shows omitting routine visual field assessment in population surveys may have affected case ascertainment. Our findings will be useful to future studies and healthcare planning.

  • Epidemiology
  • Glaucoma
  • Intraocular pressure
  • Public health

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