The relationship between multiple deprivation and severity of glaucoma at diagnosis
March 01, 2024

The relationship between multiple deprivation and severity of glaucoma at diagnosis

BACKGROUND: Socioeconomic deprivation is associated with higher odds of chronic diseases, with many individuals living with more than one illness. This study aimed to examine the relationship between deprivation and severity of glaucoma at diagnosis, an important risk factor for glaucoma blindness.

METHODS: A retrospective study of 472 consecutive patients referred by community optometrists to the glaucoma clinic at a university hospital was performed. Glaucoma severity was determined by standard automated perimetry mean deviation (MD) in the worse eye. The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) was determined for each patient as a measure of deprivation based on postcode. Regression analyses were performed to determine the relationship between visual field MD and SIMD.

RESULTS: There was a significant relationship between higher levels of deprivation (lower SIMD) and worse severity of glaucoma at diagnosis. 32 of 472 patients (6.8%) had a MD of ≤-6 dB and 11 (2.3%) ≤-12 dB in their better eye. MD in the worse eye was 0.04 dB (95% CI 0.014 to 0.062 dB, P = 0.002) worse for each 100-point decrease in SIMD, with lower SIMD indicating a higher level of deprivation. A higher proportion of patients living in most deprived areas had a MD ≤ -6 dB or ≤ -12 dB at presentation compared to those living in the least deprived areas (14.3% versus 6.8% for ≤ -6 dB and 4.8% versus 0.8% for ≤ -12 dB).

CONCLUSIONS: Higher levels of deprivation were associated with worse glaucoma severity at presentation. The reasons for poorer outcomes in those from more deprived communities need further study so that inequalities can be addressed and the frequency of patients presenting with advanced glaucoma reduced.

© 2023. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to The Royal College of Ophthalmologists.
Eye (Lond). 2023 Mar 23;1-6. doi: 10.1038/s41433-023-02508-w. Online ahead of print.

PMID: 36959313 PMCID: PMC10035976 DOI: 10.1038/s41433-023-02508-w

NGP Papers manager: Carlo Cutolo