Meeting News Coverage

Finland's visually impaired population will grow, despite glaucoma prevention progress

NICE, France — In spite of the favorable progress made in the prevention of glaucoma-related blindness, Finland will face the challenge of an increased number of residents with vision impairment due to glaucoma, according to a poster presented at the 2014 European Glaucoma Society meeting.

Hannu Uusitalo, MD, PhD, Asko Siitonen, MD, and Matti Ojamo, MD, analyzed the Finnish Register of Visual Impairment and extrapolated data on glaucoma-related visual impairment and the changes that occurred between 1980 and 2010.

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the Finnish population over 65 years of age, after age-related macular degeneration, according to the poster.  The total number of glaucoma patients aged older than 30 years was 83,675. The prevalence of glaucoma was found to increasing exponentially with age, reaching 11.5% in the population of 80 years and older. 

The authors reported a significant change over time of the mean age at which glaucoma patients became visually impaired. The beginning of visual impairment was deferred by 5 years over three decades.  However, taking into account the aging of the population, the authors estimated that the number of glaucoma patients will increase to 120,000 by 2040, consequently increasing the burden of visual impairment in Finland.

Disclosures: The authors have no relevant financial disclosures. 

NICE, France — In spite of the favorable progress made in the prevention of glaucoma-related blindness, Finland will face the challenge of an increased number of residents with vision impairment due to glaucoma, according to a poster presented at the 2014 European Glaucoma Society meeting.

Hannu Uusitalo, MD, PhD, Asko Siitonen, MD, and Matti Ojamo, MD, analyzed the Finnish Register of Visual Impairment and extrapolated data on glaucoma-related visual impairment and the changes that occurred between 1980 and 2010.

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the Finnish population over 65 years of age, after age-related macular degeneration, according to the poster.  The total number of glaucoma patients aged older than 30 years was 83,675. The prevalence of glaucoma was found to increasing exponentially with age, reaching 11.5% in the population of 80 years and older. 

The authors reported a significant change over time of the mean age at which glaucoma patients became visually impaired. The beginning of visual impairment was deferred by 5 years over three decades.  However, taking into account the aging of the population, the authors estimated that the number of glaucoma patients will increase to 120,000 by 2040, consequently increasing the burden of visual impairment in Finland.

Disclosures: The authors have no relevant financial disclosures.