[Prevalence of glaucomas in a Black Cameroonian population].Sante 2006 Apr-Jun; 16(2):83-8S
To determine the prevalence and the various types of glaucoma in a Black urban Cameroonian population.
MATERIAL AND METHOD
A retrospective analysis of 1,343 glaucomatous patients' files (757 men and 586 women) from a total of 24,462 Cameroonian patients of all ages was carried out from January 1991 to December 2001 in the Douala General Hospital in Cameroon in Central Africa.
The prevalence of glaucoma of all types is 5.5%. It increases with age. Of subjects with glaucoma, 79.6% had not been previously diagnosed. The mean patient's age is 53.3 (+/-17.1) years. The mean intraocular pressure is 29.6 (+/-12.6) mmHg. The mean vertical cup-disc ratio is 0.7 (+/-0.2). The prevalence of primary glaucoma of any type is 4.5%. The overall prevalence of primary open-angle glaucoma, primary angle-closure glaucoma and congenital glaucoma was 4.3%, 0.03% and 0.07%, respectively. The normal-tension glaucoma is rare in this study (6.3% of primary open-angle glaucoma).The most common form of primary angle closure glaucoma is chronic angle closure glaucoma (61,1%) and is usually undiagnosed due to a lack of gonioscopic evaluation. The prevalence of secondary glaucoma of any type is 1%. The most common forms of secondary angle closure glaucoma were neovascular glaucoma (47.4% of cases with the prevalence of 0.5%) and post-traumatic glaucoma (23.1% of cases with the prevalence of 0.2%). Prevalence of bilateral and monocular blindness due to glaucoma is 8% (108/1,343) and 32.9% (441/1,343) respectively of glaucoma patients.
This study confirms the high prevalence of glaucoma in a black African population. Gonioscopy is an important diagnostic tool that should be promoted to guide more effective glaucoma treatment in our region. The very high rate of blindness among the glaucoma patients in Cameroon is due to a lack of care. The patients are young, the disease is advanced, and compliance and follow-up are poor. Glaucoma surgery therefore offers a favourable option from an economical standpoint. Glaucoma is a devastating disease and constitutes a significant public health problem.