Measures of socioeconomic status and self-reported glaucoma in the UK Biobank cohort

Y. Shweikh, F. Ko, M. P.Y. Chan, P. J. Patel, Z. Muthy, P. T. Khaw, J. Yip, N. Strouthidis, P. J. Foster*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose To determine ocular, demographic, and socioeconomic associations with self-reported glaucoma in the UK Biobank.MethodsBiobank is a study of UK residents aged 40-69 years registered with the National Health Service. Data were collected on visual acuity, intraocular pressure (IOP), corneal biomechanics, and questionnaire from 112 690 participants. Relationships between ocular, demographic, and socioeconomic variables with reported diagnosis of glaucoma were examined.ResultsIn all, 1916 (1.7%) people in UK Biobank reported glaucoma diagnosis. Participants reporting glaucoma were more likely to be older (mean 61.4 vs 56.7 years, P<0.001) and male (2.1% vs 1.4%, P=0.001). The rate of reported glaucoma was significantly higher in Black (3.28%, P<0.001) and Asian (2.14%, P=0.009) participants compared with White participants (1.62%, reference). Cases of reported glaucoma had a higher mean IOP (18 mm Hg both eyes, P<0.001), lower corneal hysteresis (9.96 right eye, 9.89 left eye, P<0.001), and lower visual acuity (0.09 logMAR right eye, 0.08 logMAR left eye, P<0.001) compared with those without (16 mm Hg both eyes, hysteresis 10.67 right eye, 10.63 left eye, 0.03 logMAR right eye, 0.02 logMAR left eye). The mean Townsend deprivation index was -0.72 for those reporting glaucoma and -0.95 for those without (P<0.001), indicating greater relative deprivation in those reporting glaucoma. Multivariable logistic regression showed that people in the lowest income group (<£18 000/year) were significantly more likely to report a diagnosis of glaucoma compared with any other income level (P<0.01). We observed increasing glaucoma risk across the full range of income categories, with highest risk among those of lowest income, and no evidence of a threshold effect.ConclusionsIn a large UK cohort, individuals reporting glaucoma had more adverse socioeconomic characteristics. Study of the mechanisms explaining these effects may aid our understanding of health inequality and will help inform public health interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1360-1367
Number of pages8
JournalEye (Basingstoke)
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge a proportion of our financial support from the UK Department of Health through an award made by the National Institute for Health Research to Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology for a Biomedical Research Centre for Ophthalmology. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the UK Department of Health. Miss Chan holds a PhD studentship supported by the Medical Research Council (London) and Royal College of Ophthalmologists (London), and an International Glaucoma Association award. Dr Ko is supported by ORS and GRS scholarships from University College London. Dr Ko, Mr Strouthidis, and Professor Foster are supported by a grant from the International Glaucoma Association (London). Professor Foster is supported by funding from the Richard Desmond Charitable Trust via Fight for Sight (London). Mr Patel, Ms Muthy, Professor Khaw, Mr Strouthidis and Professor Foster are supported by grants from the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields Eye Hospital and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.


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