TUESDAY, Feb. 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The health burden of glaucoma increased globally in the past 25 years and is distributed unequally, according to a study published online Feb. 20 in Acta Ophthalmologica.

Wei Wang, from Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China, and colleagues used data from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2015 to assess trends and variations in the global health burden of glaucoma by year, age and sex, region, and socioeconomic status.

The researchers found that from 1990 to 2015, the disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and age-standardized DALY rate due to glaucoma increased by 122 and 15 percent, respectively. Both men and women showed a similar increasing trend with age. There was a higher health burden of glaucoma (measured in DALY number) among women versus men for all age groups. There was a significant association between age-standardized DALY and human development index, accounting for 22.2 percent of the variance across countries. Additionally, there was an association between gross domestic product per capita and age-standardized DALY rate; however, this association could only explain 10.6 percent of variations in the age-standardized DALY rate.

“Global glaucoma burden did not improve dramatically, indicating the need for persistent investment, educational campaign, and early screening for tackling glaucoma,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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