Editors Selection IGR 16-3

Epidemiology: Glaucoma Prevalence

Ningli Wang

Comment by Ningli Wang on:

58821 The prevalence of primary angle closure glaucoma in adult Asians: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Cheng JW; Zong Y; Zeng YY et al., PLoS ONE, 2014; 9: e103222

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Primary angle closure glaucoma (PACG) is a major cause of visual morbidity in Asia, with higher prevalence in Asians compared to Caucasians or black populations.1,2 Therefore, it is important to estimate the burden of PACG in Asia. With the better control of PACG, the increasing prevalence of myopia and the changing of lifestyle, the number of PACG patients is supposed to be decreased through the two decades in Asia, but is that really the case? Also, before the emergence of International Society of Geographical and Epidemiological Ophthalmology (ISGEO) definition for PACG,3 the prevalence rates reported in different studies may not be accurate and comparable. Therefore, it is necessary to re-evaluate the prevalence of PACG in Asia, using the same definition of cases.

Cheng et al. did a systematic review and meta-analysis to summarize available population- based studies reporting prevalence values in Asians, to estimate an overall prevalence of PACG consistent with the ISGEO definition. Twenty-nine studies were included and the highest pooled prevalence rates of PACG were 1.19% in the Japan group and 1.10% in the China group, followed by 0.97% in the Middle East group, 0.66% in the South East Asia group and 0.46% in the India group. And a high prevalence rate was strongly associated with an older age and a higher proportion of female gender. Also, they found a strong variability of PACG prevalence rates by ethnic group.

This systematic review provides a current estimate of PACG prevalence in Asian populations based on data of 29 published studies conducted through the period of 2000 to 2013, which provide important information about the burden of PACG in Asia nowadays and may help decide the appropriate policies on prevention and treatment.


  1. Cook C, Foster PJ. Epidemiology of glaucoma: what's new? Can J Ophthalmol 2012;47(3):223-226.
  2. Quiley HA, Broman AT. The number of people with glaucoma worldwide in 2010 and 2020. Br J Ophthalmol 2006;90(3):262-267.
  3. Foster PJ, Buhrmann R, Quigley HA, Johnson GJ. The definition and classification of glaucoma in prevalence surveys. Br J Ophthalmol 2002;86(2):238-242.

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