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NEHEP Programs


Goals, Objectives, and
Prevalence Data

Glaucoma Program Goals

  • Provide information about glaucoma to people at higher risk for the disease (African Americans over age 40 and everyone over age 60, especially Mexican Americans) and/or those with glaucoma, as well as people with a family history of glaucoma.
  • Provide glaucoma information to healthcare providers to increase their awareness of the need for regular comprehensive dilated eye examinations for people at higher risk.

Glaucoma Program Objectives

  • Develop and implement at least two initiatives for populations at higher risk for glaucoma.
  • Develop and implement at least one collaborative effort with an organization representing the populations at higher risk for glaucoma.
  • Develop and disseminate at least one educational tool in Spanish in a culturally appropriate and health-literate manner.
  • Develop and implement two strategies for healthcare providers working with the populations at higher risk for glaucoma.

Glaucoma Prevalence Data

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness and visual impairment for Americans, affecting as many as 2.22 million people nationwide.1 An additional 2 million are unaware they have the disease. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness among African Americans. There are no symptoms of glaucoma in the early stages of the disease. Vision loss from this disease is permanent and cannot be reversed. Although glaucoma cannot be cured, it can be controlled if it is detected and treated early.

Recent studies have confirmed that the rate of glaucoma increases with age and that African Americans have higher rates of the disease than Whites or Hispanics/Latinos. African Americans are almost three times more likely to develop visual impairment due to glaucoma than other ethnic groups.

Results from the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study (LALES) suggest that the prevalence of open-angle glaucoma is high among Latinos of Mexican ancestry. Results also reveal an absence of gender-related differences, but they did find that older Latinos have a higher prevalence of open-angle glaucoma than younger Latinos.2


  1. Eye Diseases Prevalence Research Group. “Prevalence of Open-angle Glaucoma Among Adults in the United States.” Archives of Ophthalmology 122.4 (2004): 532-38.
  2. Varma, R., et al. “Prevalence of Open-angle Glaucoma and Ocular Hypertension in Latinos: The Los Angeles Latino Eye Study.” Ophthalmology 111.8 (2004): 1439-48.


This page was last modified in July 2008

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