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Glaucoma in India: Estimated Burden of Disease

George, Ronnie MS; Ve, Ramesh S. MPhil; Vijaya, Lingam MS

doi: 10.1097/IJG.0b013e3181c4ac5b
Special Section

Over the last decade the prevalence of glaucoma has been reported by the Vellore Eye Survey, Andhra Pradesh Eye Disease Study, Aravind Comprehensive Eye Survey, Chennai Glaucoma Study, and West Bengal Glaucoma Study. There have been some differences largely because of methodologic variations. We use the reported age and gender stratified prevalence estimates from these studies and the Indian population census estimates to calculate the number of persons with glaucoma or at risk of the disease in the country. On the basis of the available data, we estimate that there are approximately 11.2 million persons aged 40 years and older with glaucoma in India. Primary open angle glaucoma is estimated to affect 6.48 million persons. The estimated number with primary angle-closure glaucoma is 2.54 million. Those with any form of primary angle-closure disease could comprise 27.6 million persons. Most of those with disease are undetected and there exist major challenges in detecting and treating those with disease. In the light of the existing manpower and resource constraints, we evaluate options for improving case detection rates in the country.

Glaucoma Services, Medical and Vision Research Foundations, Chennai, India

Reprints: Lingam Vijaya, MS, Director, Glaucoma Services, Medical Research Foundation, Sankara Nethralaya, 18, College Road, Chennai, India-600 006 (e-mail:

Received for publication October 9, 2008; accepted September 26, 2009

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.