Vascular considerations in glaucoma patients of African and European descent

Andrew Huck, Alon Harris, Brent Siesky, Nathaniel Kim, Michael Muchnik, Priyanka Kanakamedala, Annahita Amireskandari, Leslie Abrams-Tobe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in individuals of African descent (AD). While open-angle glaucoma (OAG) disproportionately affects individuals of AD compared with persons of European descent (ED), the physiological mechanisms behind this disparity are largely unknown. The more rapid progression and greater severity of the disease in persons of AD further raise the concern for identifying these underlying differences in disease pathophysiology between AD and ED glaucoma patients. Ocular structural differences between AD and ED patients, including larger optic disc area, cup:disc ratio and thinner corneas, have been found. AD individuals are also disproportionately affected by systemic vascular diseases, including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes mellitus. Abnormal ocular blood flow has been implicated as a risk factor for glaucoma, and pilot research is beginning to identify localized ocular vascular differences between AD and ED OAG patients. Given the known systemic vascular deficits and the relationship between glaucoma and ocular blood flow, exploring these concepts in terms of glaucoma risk factors may have a significant impact in elucidating the mechanisms behind the disease disparity in the AD population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e336-e340
JournalActa Ophthalmologica
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • African descent
  • blood flow
  • glaucoma
  • race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Medicine(all)

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