Intraocular pressure in a Somali population living in the United States

Academic Article


  • Purpose: Intraocular pressure is a risk factor for the development of glaucomatous optic neuropathy. With few exceptions, higher mean intraocular pressure and greater prevalences of glaucoma have been reported for individuals of African origin. This study was performed to compare the mean intraocular pressure of a group of ethnic East Africans living in the United States with that of Caucasians living in the same community. Patients and Methods: Retrospective comparison of Somali patients 30 years of age or greater with age- and gender-matched Caucasian control subjects. All patients were seen in the same clinic in Seattle, Washington, between July 1996 and March 1998. Patients were excluded for conditions or medications affecting intraocular pressure and for a diagnosis of glaucoma. Mean intraocular pressure of the two populations was compared using an independent sample two-tailed t test. Results: Following exclusions and defined age limits, 57 Somali patients and 57 Caucasian control subjects were included in the final analysis. Mean age of Somalis was 48.5 ± 12.2 years versus 48.1 ± 11.3 years for control subjects (P = 0.84). The mean intraocular pressure of Somalis was 13.76 ± 3.63 mm Hg versus 13.94 ± 2.78 mm Hg for control subjects (P = 0.77). Conclusion: Some populations of African origin may not have higher mean intraocular pressures compared with non-African populations. Consideration of ethnic and racial origins more specific than "African" should be given when evaluating intraocular pressure in individual patients.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Read RW; Chen PP; Bhandari A; Mills RP; Cinciripini GS; Taylor CC
  • Start Page

  • 365
  • End Page

  • 369
  • Volume

  • 12
  • Issue

  • 4