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J.D. Edwards, R. Rumpf, S.J. Wadhwa, E.J. Higginbotham; Prevalence of Depression in Patients With Glaucoma . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):3458.
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Previous investigations of glaucoma patients have shown a decrease in the quality of life compared to those without the disease. However, a strong association between glaucoma and depression has not been found. Considering that glaucoma is a chronic disease affecting primarily the elderly, an association between glaucoma and depression would not be unexpected. This study was undertaken to determine if there is a significant level of depression among patients with glaucoma.
A prospective survey study was performed on patients with a diagnosis of primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) on the University of Maryland Glaucoma Service. The Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI–II) questionnaire was administered. Age, ethnicity, marital status, education, co–morbidities (hypertension, diabetes, kidney disease, cancer, arthritis, COPD) and psychiatric history were documented. Medical chart review was performed to determine glaucoma medication use, visual acuity, and cup–to–disc ratio.
Investigators interviewed 39 patients ranging in age from 37 to 85, with a mean age of 59. Disease severity ranged from mild to severe, though most patients were well controlled without serious visual loss. The mean BDI–II score for all patients was 6.8 (SD 5.4). Eighty seven percent of patients scored in the range for minimal or no depression, ten percent scored in the range for mild depression, 1 patient scored in the range for moderate depression, and no patients scored in the range for severe depression. No correlation appeared in patients with accretion of depression and severity of glaucoma symptoms. The patient with moderate depression had only mild glaucoma, though exhibited many other co–morbid diseases.
Based on the BDI–II psychological instrument, patients with glaucoma did not show an increased prevalence of depression compared to the general population.
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