See also comment(s) by Kelsey Stuart & Anthony Khawaja •
PURPOSE: Investigate associations of race/ethnicity and preferred language with baseline glaucoma severity, VF test frequency and disease progression. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. METHODS: Patients receiving VF testing at a tertiary eyecare center between 1998 and 2020 with self-identified race, ethnicity and preferred language were included. Outcome measures were VF MD and age at first visit, VF test frequency, VF MD progression. RESULTS: Among 29,891 patients with VF measurements between 1998 and 2020, 55.1% were female, 71.0% self-identified as White/Caucasian, 14.0% as Black/African American, 7.4% as Asian and 6.4% as Hispanic, and 11.2% preferred a language other than English. Mean VF MD at presentation was worse among Black (-9.3±9.7 dB), Asian (-6.2±7.6 dB) and Hispanic (-8.3±9.3 dB) patients (vs. Whites [-5.5±7.3 dB, p<0.001] or non-Hispanics [-6.2±7.8 dB, p<0.001]). After controlling for age, gender and English proficiency, disparities in glaucoma severity at presentation were reduced, especially among Asian and Hispanic patients. Despite greater severity at presentation, Black patients had lower VF test frequency/person-years (1.07±0.53) compared to Whites (1.12±0.52, p=0.006) and worse VF MD progression (-0.43 dB/year, 95% CI -0.67 to -0.28, p<0.001). In contrast, Hispanics had a higher VF frequency vs. non-Hispanics (1.18±0.64 vs. 1.11±0.52, p<0.001), and no difference in VF progression (p=0.77). CONCLUSIONS: Black, Asian and Hispanic patients had greater baseline severity vs. Whites. Unlike other groups, Black patients had a lower VF frequency vs. Whites and greater VF progression. Disparities in baseline severity were partially explained by English proficiency, especially for Asian and Hispanic patients.
Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Mass General Brigham, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.Full article