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Prevalence of glaucoma in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic: the Vientiane Eye Study
  1. Brad Guo1,
  2. Yiran Tan1,
  3. Stephen Nygaard2,
  4. Cesar Carrillo3,
  5. Kham Od Nouansavanh4,
  6. Kitar Souksamone4,
  7. Robert J Casson1,2,3
  1. 1Department of Ophthalmology, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  2. 2Discipline of Ophthalmology & Visual Science, University of Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  3. 3Ophthalmology Department, Sight for All, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  4. 4Department of Ophthalmology, National Ophthalmology Centre, Vientiane, Vientiane, Lao People's Democratic Republic
  1. Correspondence to Dr Robert J Casson, Department of Ophthalmology, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia; robert.casson{at}


Aims To determine the prevalence and subtypes of glaucoma in Vientiane Province.

Methods We conducted a population-based study of 1264 participants aged ≥40 years of age from urban and rural areas of Vientiane Province. Data collection included Snellen visual acuity, slip lamp examination, tonometry, gonioscopy, dilated stereoscopic disc examination and perimetry. Glaucoma was categorised by clinical subtype.

Results The mean age of the 1264 participants was 57.6 years; 91.9% of eyes had a gradable disc. The prevalence of glaucoma of any category in at least one eye was 1.54% (95% CI 0.66% to 3.59%). The overall prevalence of primary open-angle glaucoma, primary angle-closure glaucoma and secondary glaucoma was 0.62% (95% CI 0.19% to 1.98%), 0.55% (95% CI 0.12% to 2.54%) and 0.37% (95% CI 0.07% to 1.86%); 12 (66.7%) of participants with glaucoma were at least unilaterally blinded by WHO definition.

Conclusions The prevalence of glaucoma in the Vientiane Eye Study is relatively low compared with the prevalence reported in other studies from Asian regions; however, the median age in this study was low, reflecting the age group of the population and the rapid urbanisation occurring in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Nevertheless, glaucoma remains a blinding disease in this population.

  • glaucoma
  • epidemiology

Statistics from


  • Contributors RJC: responsible for study design, administration of survey, drafting and revising the manuscript. BG: responsible as primary author of manuscript, statistical analysis, drafting and revising the manuscript. YT: responsible for administration of the survey, drafting and revising the manuscript. SN: responsible for study design and administration of survey, drafting and revising the manuscript. CC: responsible for administration of survey, drafting and revising the manuscript. KON: responsible for administration of survey, drafting and revising the manuscript. KS: responsible for administration of survey, drafting and revising the manuscript.

  • Funding The project was financially supported by Sight For All, who empower communities to deliver comprehensive, evidence-based high-quality eye healthcare through the provision of research, education and equipment. This was an internal project of Sight For All, therefore, there is no specific grant number for this study.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval The study was approved by Royal Adelaide Hospital Ethics Committee and the Lao PDR Ministry of Health and adhered to the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available on reasonable request via email to corresponding author.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.

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