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Robert B. Avery, Lawrence C. Tafoya; Characterization of Ocular Diseases Prevalent Amongst Southwestern Native American Patients. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):5978.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To determine the prevalence of various eye diseases afflicting a group of Southwestern Native American patients over a seven-year period. To classify common disorders in an underserved population that is largely unrepresented in the current literature.
We performed a retrospective review of clinical records at the University of new Mexico Hospital eye Clinic. This yielded a population of 324 adult Native American patients which were treated in our clinic from 2003-2010. We then compared this Native American population to control groups of 3333 Hispanic patients and 2495 Caucasian patients matched for age, sex, and insurance carrier type.
Overall results showed Native American patients had increased rates of glaucoma (32% of patients) and more severe diabetic complications including proliferative retinopathy (44% of diabetics) and diabetic cataracts (14% of diabetics). Native American patients also had increased levels of other preventable conditions, such as mature cataract formation, pseudoexfoliation, and trauma. Native American patients were 3.5 to 6 times more likely to have a trauma-associated diagnosis than their Hispanic and Caucasian counterparts. In addition, Native American patients were, on average, significantly younger at the time of trauma in comparison to the other ethnic groups surveyed.
The Southwestern Native American patient population is at an increased risk for many devastating, yet avoidable, eye conditions compared to other ethnic groups in the region. It is hoped that this information will aid Ophthalmologists in anticipating the unique and highly treatable eye care needs of Native American patients.
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