Ophthalmologie. 2023 Oct 24. doi: 10.1007/s00347-023-01942-1. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Glaucoma is a widespread ophthalmological disease. Knowledge about the spread of the disease in the population is necessary with respect to further questions on comorbidities, risk factors and the provision of care.
OBJECTIVE: An analysis of the use of glaucoma medications and the prevalence of glaucoma in an urban adult population was carried out.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The Hamburg City Health Study (HCHS) is a prospective, long-term, population-based cohort study that includes a random sample of 45,000 participants aged between 45 and 79 years from the general population of Hamburg, Germany. Apart from various medical parameters, data include premedication and the medical history of the participants. The use of antiglaucomatous medication among the first 10,000 study participants was analyzed and the prevalence of glaucoma was estimated according to the use of medications as well as by the self-reported history of glaucoma. Descriptive analysis and logistic regression analysis were performed to analyze the data and to calculate correlations by age and gender.
RESULTS: In the study population 319 persons were on medication to lower the intraocular pressure (IOP, mean age 67.1 years, SD = 7.57 years), which is equivalent to an estimated prevalence of 3.35% (95% confidence interval, CI 3.00-3.70%). A positive correlation was observed between age and the use of IOP-lowering medication, which is statistically highly significant (p = < 0.001). The analysis by gender showed a slightly higher prevalence among women, which was not statistically significant. The estimated prevalence according to glaucoma medication and history were only partly congruent.
DISCUSSION: This estimated prevalence of glaucoma is comparable to other epidemiological studies. The study results cover not only patients with manifest glaucoma but also persons who were treated for ocular hypertension. The inconsistency between the prevalence of glaucoma medication and the diagnosis of glaucoma can be explained by different treatment strategies and also by information deficits.