Increase In Eye Disease Diagnoses Expected Among Minorities

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Glaucoma is expected to increase among the baby boom generation,particularly among minorities, several groups said at a news conferenceto announce a Florida campaign to raise awareness of the disease amongHispanics, the Miami Herald reports. According to the Eye Disease Prevalence Group at NIH, serious eye disease among baby boomers is expected to increase by more than 50% by 2020.

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According to a survey of 1,200 U.S. residents conducted by the Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research for the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology,more than 75% of blacks and Hispanics are unaware that they have asignificant risk factor for glaucoma. Glaucoma rates for blacks andHispanics are more than three times that of whites, the Herald reports. A separate survey by NIH's Los Angeles Latino Eye Study estimates that 75% of Hispanics have the eye disease but have not yet been diagnosed.

The EyeCare Americais organizing the statewide awareness campaign, which features atoll-free helpline, treatments and no-cost screenings. To be eligible,participants must have a high risk for glaucoma because of age, race orethnicity, or family history and have not had an eye exam in the lastyear.

Participants also must be uninsured U.S. citizens orlegal uninsured residents. If the program proves to be successful, itwill be expanded to other states and high-risk groups, according toAllison Neves, a spokesperson for EyeCare (Tasker, Miami Herald, 9/15).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser WeeklyHealth Disparities Report,search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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