Capitol Hill briefing focuses on glaucoma in minorities

September 10, 2004

A pair of glaucoma specialists spoke during a Capitol Hill briefing Sept. 8 to discuss the effect of the disease on minorities.

A pair of glaucoma specialists spoke during a Capitol Hill briefing Sept. 8 to discuss the effect of the disease on minorities.

Mildred Olivier, MD, FACS, reported on the recently released National Eye Institute (NEI) study on the use of pressure-reducing drops to delay or prevent glaucoma in African-Americans. She also addressed NEI's efforts to educate affected populations about its vision disparities research.

Dr. Olivier is president and chief executive officer of the Midwest Glaucoma Center PC in Chicago. She is an assistant clinical professor in the department of ophthalmology at the Olympia Fields Osteopathic Medical Center and Cook County Hospital.

Rohit Varma, MD, MPH, reported on the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study (LALES), a comprehensive epidemiological analysis of visual impairment in Latinos. Dr. Varma is an associate professor of ophthalmology at the Keck School of Medicine's Doheny Eye Institute at the University of Southern California.

The results of the study, released Aug. 9 and published in the June, July, and August 2004 issues of Ophthalmology, show that Latinos had high rates of open-angle glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. (Details of the LALES study will appear in an upcoming issue of Ophthalmology Times.)

The Alliance for Eye and Vision Research sponsored the briefing, titled "Vision Health Disparities Research."