This retrospective observational study assessed the prevalence of end-of-life visual impairment in patients with glaucoma. A total of 122 deceased patients followed for glaucoma were included and data was collected from patient notes. Sixty-one patients had open-angle glaucoma and 61 patients were suspect for glaucoma or had ocular hypertension. The mean age at death was 82 years with a mean previous follow-up of nine years. Seventy-three per cent of all patients had their last visit in the year preceding death. Visual impairment was defined as a mean deviation value <−15 dB or a Snellen visual acuity <0.3 (20/60) of the better eye. For patients with open-angle glaucoma, 26% had an end-of-life visual impairment and in 15% this was caused by glaucomatous disease due to loss of visual acuity in 16%. This was mainly explained by ocular comorbidity, and there was an equal contribution of comorbidity and glaucoma in one case. Eight per cent of the glaucoma suspects or patients with ocular hypertension were visually impaired at death and these were all caused by ocular comorbidity. The authors conclude substantial visual loss at baseline is an important contributing factor.

Prevalence of end-of-life visual impairment in patients followed for glaucoma.
Ernest PJG, Busch MJWM, Webers CAB, et al.
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Nana Theodorou

BMedSCi (Hons) PhD, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Clinical Research Office, 11 Broomfield Road, Sheffield, S10 2SE, UK.

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