UK Glaucoma Disease Burden Low, Paving the Way for Alternative Care Models

Angiofluorography of a patient showing a risk of glaucoma. (Photo by: BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Researchers set out to describe the disease spectrum and resource utilization in glaucoma clinics across the United Kingdom to inform future care models.

The following article is a part of conference coverage from the American Academy of Ophthalmology 2020, being held virtually from November 13 to 15, 2020. The team at Ophthalmology Advisor will be reporting on the latest news and research conducted by leading experts in ophthalmology. Check back for more from the AAO 2020.

Resource utilization and spectrum of disease across glaucoma clinics in the United Kingdom remains low, identifying a large number of patients for whom alternative care models may be suitable. This is according to research results presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology 2020 annual meeting, held virtually November 13 to 15, 2020. 

Researchers conducted a retrospective cohort study in order to evaluate the spectrum of disease and associated resource utilization across 5 glaucoma clinics in the United Kingdom. Patients (N=22,062; mean age, 71 years) who were seen in 2016 were identified and followed for 1 year.

The most common diagnoses across clinic patients were primary open-angle glaucoma, identified in 35% of patients, ocular hypertension (24%), and glaucoma suspect (21%). Most patients (68%) experienced normal or mild worse eye visual field mean deviation (>-6 dB); 16% of patients experienced moderate symptoms, and 16% experienced advanced symptoms (<-12 dB). 

In terms of treatment, 76% of patients were taking 0 to 1 glaucoma medication. Investigators noted a mean of 2.1 further visits and 0.8 visual fields during the 1-year follow-up period. 

These results were promising for study investigators. “In one of the largest studies of UK glaucoma care to date, we identified a large proportion of patients who may be low risk and suitable for alternative models of care,” the researchers concluded. 

Disclosure: Several study authors declared affiliations with the pharmaceutical industry. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures. 


Khawaja AP, Fu DJ, Ademisoye E, Campbell J, McNaught A. Real-world burden in five major UK glaucoma services. Presented at: American Academy of Ophthalmology 2020 Annual Meeting; November 13-15, 2020. Abstract PO207.

Visit Ophthalmology Advisor’s conference section for complete coverage of AAO 2020.