Racial and Sociodemographic Disparities in the Detection of Narrow Angles before Detection of Primary Angle-Closure Glaucoma in the United States


To assess the proportion of newly diagnosed cases of primary angle-closure glaucoma (PACG) with and without prior diagnosis of anatomical narrow angle (ANA) and to identify sociodemographic risk factors for late detection (PACG without prior ANA diagnosis).


Retrospective cohort study.


One hundred two thousand six hundred seventeen patients with PACG were identified from the Optum Clinformatics Data Mart Database (2007–2019). Patients with newly diagnosed PACG met the following criteria: (1) diagnosis made by an ophthalmologist, (2) disease observable for at least 12 months before diagnosis, and (3) no history of treatment before diagnosis unless preceded by a diagnosis of ANA. Multivariate logistic regression modeling was performed to identify sociodemographic risk factors for late detection.

Main Outcome Measures

Proportion of patients with newly diagnosed PACG without prior ANA diagnosis and sociodemographic factors associated with late detection.


Thirty-one thousand forty-four patients were eligible. More than 70% of PACG cases were detected without prior ANA diagnosis, regardless of patient age, sex, or race. The odds of late detection were significantly higher (P < 0.001) among men (odds ratio [OR], 1.32; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.25–1.40), Black patients (OR, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.15–1.37), and patients 80 years of age or older (OR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.11–1.47) or living in Southern (OR, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.22–1.40) or Pacific (OR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.16–1.36) regions. Findings were similar for patients with PACG with a record of gonioscopy and treatment or with a 24-month lookback period.


Most patients who receive a new diagnosis of PACG in the United States do not have a prior diagnosis of ANA. The elderly, men, and Black patients are at higher risk of late detection. A need exists for increased disease awareness among providers and more accessible tools to detect patients at risk of developing PACG.

The full study is available in ScienceDirect.