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F. Ma, H. Lai, S. Lai, C. Yang, B.A. Roos; Prevalence of Glaucoma in Asians Residing in the United States – Results From the National Health Interview Survey 1991: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Supplement . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):3406.
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Purpose: Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness and primary reason of ophthalmologic clinic visits. Despite the relatively higher incidence of glaucoma documented in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, and other Asian countries, the prevalence of glaucoma in Asians residing in the United States has never been reported. This study examines the self-reported glaucoma prevalence in Asians in a nationally representative sample of US adults. Methods: Adults within randomly selected households for the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention supplement (HPDP) in the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) 1991 were asked whether they had ever been told by a doctor they had glaucoma. Proxy information was obtained when a household member was unavailable for interview. Logistic regression analysis, with adjustments for covariates (age, gender) as well as the complex sample survey design, was performed using the SUDAAN to investigate associations among family history of glaucoma, birthplace (US vs. overseas), and the disease. Results: The crude glaucoma prevalence rate in Asians 18 years or older residing in the US was 1.20% (95% CI: 0.36%-2.04%), which was lower than in African-Americans (2.83%; 95% CI: 2.26%-3.4%) and whites (2.00%; 95% CI: 1.84%-2.16%). The glaucoma prevalence rate was slightly higher in female (1.23%) than in male Asians (1.17%) and increased significantly with age. Multivariate logistic regression results showed that Asians 65 or older were 7 times more likely to suffer from glaucoma than Asians 64 years old or younger (odds ratio=7.2; 95% CI=6.1-8.5). Asians with a family history of glaucoma were also more likely to have the disease (5.8; 4.0-7.0). Birthplace (US or overseas) was not associated with glaucoma (0.9; 0.6-1.4). Conclusions: Compared to African-Americans and whites, Asians in the US have relatively lower glaucoma prevalence. Genetic components apparently play a more important role than environment in glaucoma.
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