195579 Glaucoma diagnosis in the Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (EPESE): A comparison of Caucasians and African-Americans

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 10:48 AM

Mimi Misung Kim, PhD , University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, Chapel Hill, NC
Daniel L. Howard, PhD , The Robert Wood Johnson Center for Health Policy, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN
M. Elizabeth Hartnett, MD , School of Medicine, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
DaJuanicia N. Holmes , Institute for Health, Social and Community Research, Shaw University, Raleigh, NC
Introduction. Though research has examined race as an important factor in defining the scope of glaucoma in the United States, further exploration into other specific factors may help inform the design of preventive services to decrease rates of blindness due to glaucoma among minority groups. There remains an underreporting of individual and service factors that may predict glaucoma diagnosis by race, particularly service level factors.

Methods. This study examined glaucoma diagnosis among a sample of elderly patients from the North Carolina Established Populations for the Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (NC EPESE) study.

Results. When controlling for patient health characteristics for both racial groups, having diabetes is a significant predictor for both Caucasians and African-Americans but in opposition between the two groups. Specifically, Caucasians without diabetes are more likely to have a glaucoma diagnosis. In contrast, having diabetes was a nearly significant predictor of a glaucoma diagnosis among African-American study participants.

Conclusion. This analysis is evidence that individual-level characteristics and the different service-level issues that may underlie specific ethnic groups may help to develop more precisely targeted interventions to improve a full range of healthcare services that are often needed by elderly patients.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify factors related to predicting a glaucoma diagnosis among this elderly sample. 2. Compare factors that are associated with glaucoma diagnosis for Caucasians versus African-Americans. 3. Compare these factors between the two races and suggest possible ways to focus interventions to improve health outcomes for these two groups.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My research focuses on health disparities among special populations, including the aging.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.