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Sibling with glaucoma means you're at risk

Brothers and sisters of patients with glaucoma have about a 20 percent chance of having developed the disease by the time they reach age 70.

Sibling with glaucoma means you

Brothers and sisters of patients with glaucoma have about a 20 percent chance of having developed the disease by the time they reach age 70. That's about five times the risk of the whole population at a similar age. Researchers from the University Hospital in Nottingham, UK, did a study with 271 siblings of 156 glaucoma patients. They underwent standard ophthalmic examinations. Thirty two siblings (nearly 12 percent) were classified as having definite glaucoma and 15 (roughly 5 percent) were classified as having suspected glaucoma. In a follow up phase, 157 of the 224 siblings with normal eyesight were re-examined an average of 7 years from the initial exam, at which time 11 (7 percent) were classified as having definite glaucoma and 30 (19 percent) as having suspected glaucoma. In the above study over 50 percent of the siblings, found to be positive for glaucoma, had been tested by a community optometrist and found to be negative within a year of detection by the hospital. Thus, having a 'normal' eye examination at a community optometrist does not preclude a diagnosis of glaucoma being made within one year of the optometrist's examination. Formal screening for glaucoma should be considered in siblings of known glaucoma patients and this should occur at regular intervals, for example every two years from the age of 50.
British Journal of Ophthalmology,
January 2006
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