THURSDAY, Jan. 9, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The burden of glaucoma is improving, but men have a persistently higher burden than women, according to a study published online Jan. 7 in Acta Ophthalmologica.

Xin Ye, from Wenzhou Medical University in China, and colleagues examined the association between sex and the global burden of glaucoma using disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). The association between sex difference in age-standardized DALY rates and the human development index (HDI) was explored.

The researchers found that between 1990 and 2017, globally, changes in glaucoma DALY number and crude rates were similar for both sexes. From 1990 to 2017, age-standardized DALY rates decreased consistently, from 10.7 to 9.4 among men and from 8.8 to 8.0 among women after controlling for population size and age structure. The global average age-standardized DALY rates were 11.6 ± 8.6 and 14.9 ± 12.1 in women and men, respectively, in 2017. The sex difference in age-standardized DALY was significant in 195 countries in 2017. Men had higher rates than women, and this difference increased with age. For low- and high-HDI countries, age-standardized DALY rates were higher among men than women. There were inverse correlations for the difference (male minus female) in age-standardized DALY rates and the female-to-male age-standardized DALY rate ratios with HDI.

“Despite health progress in glaucoma in both sexes, there is little improvement in sex differences in DALY rates of glaucoma through 2017, with a higher burden in men,” the authors write.

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