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Prevalence of comorbid retinal disease in patients with glaucoma at an academic medical center

Authors Griffith J, Goldberg J

Received 1 April 2015

Accepted for publication 25 May 2015

Published 13 July 2015 Volume 2015:9 Pages 1275—1284


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Joseph F Griffith,1 Jeffrey L Goldberg2

1Cole Eye Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH, 2Shiley Eye Center, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA

Background: Patients with various retinal diseases and patients who have undergone retinal procedures and surgeries have an increased risk of developing ocular hypertension and glaucoma. Little is known about the epidemiology of comorbid retinal diseases in glaucoma patients. This study evaluated the prevalence of retinal comorbidities in a population of patients with five types of glaucoma.
Methods: A longitudinal, retrospective study was conducted using International Classification of Disease (ICD-9) billing records from 2003 to 2010 at an academic medical center. Patients were classified as having primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), low tension open-angle glaucoma (NTG), pigmentary open-angle glaucoma, chronic-angle closure glaucoma (CACG), or pseudoexfoliation glaucoma (PXG) if they had at least three clinic visits with the same ICD-9 code. Patients were classified as having a retinal comorbidity if they had two visits with the same code. Variables were analyzed with the independent t-test, χ2 test, analysis of variance, or Fisher’s exact test.
Results: A total of 5,154 patients had glaucoma, and 14.8% of these had a retinal comorbidity. The prevalence of comorbid retinal disease was higher in patients with POAG (15.7%) than in those with NTG (10.7%), PXG (10.1%), or pigmentary open-angle glaucoma (3.7%; P<0.05). Two hundred and two patients had diabetic retinopathy, with POAG patients (4.5%) having a higher prevalence than those with CACG (1.4%) or PXG (0.6%; P<0.001). There were 297 patients who had macular degeneration and both POAG (2.0%) and PXG patients (2.9%) had a higher prevalence of nonexudative macular degeneration than those with CACG (0%; P<0.01). Patients with comorbid retinal disease had a higher prevalence of blindness and low vision than those without comorbid retinal disease (1.97% versus 1.02%, P=0.02).
Conclusion: The high prevalence of comorbid retinal disease and the nearly twofold increase in blindness and low vision in this population demonstrate the need for ophthalmologists to determine if patients have multiple etiologies for their vision loss. The higher prevalence of certain retinal diseases in POAG patients may reflect common pathophysiological processes that warrant further investigation.

Keywords: glaucoma frequency, retina frequency, comorbid retinal disease, glaucoma prevalence, retina prevalence

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