JUL 06, 2010
To investigate differences in visual function between the healthy eyes of people of African (AD) and European descent (ED), researchers examined subjects enrolled in the African Descent and Glaucoma Evaluation Study (ADAGES) and the Diagnostic Innovations in Glaucoma Study.
People of AD had significantly worse performance on all tests of visual function (P<0.05). A larger percentage of AD subjects had confirmed abnormal glaucoma hemifield test results on standard automated perimetry only.
These ancestry differences were statistically significant but small. They may be early signs of visual field loss or may be attributed to the lack of ancestry-specific normative databases for each of the visual field tests include in this study. Longitudinal data obtained in the ADAGES should help determine the nature of these ancestry differences in visual function.
The existence of such differences in healthy eyes also highlights the importance of carefully monitoring AD individuals, particularly those older than 40 years and with a family history of glaucoma. These small differences should be interpreted in conjunction with clinical data and an assessment of the structural integrity of the optic disc.