What is the morbidity and mortality associated with glaucoma?

Updated: Jul 27, 2020
  • Author: Robert H Graham, MD; Chief Editor: Hampton Roy, Sr, MD  more...
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Answer

Glaucoma is the second most common cause of legal blindness (described as visual acuity [VA] of 20/200 or poorer and visual field of less than 20° in width of its diameter) in the United States, and it is the leading cause of blindness in African Americans. Between 80,000-116,000 persons are legally blind secondary to glaucoma. Each year, an additional 5,500 people are estimated to become legally blind. At least 2.25 million people older than 40 years have glaucoma, but only one half are aware of it and are being treated. As an example, in the United States in 1977, $400 million was spent on direct health costs related to glaucoma; $1.3 billion was lost because of decreased productivity.


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