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Researchers show beneficial role of risk calculator in fighting progression of glaucoma

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The glaucoma risk calculator is based on data collected from the multi-center National Eye Institute-sponsored Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study, which identified key patient risk factors (older age, high intraocular pressure, thinner central corneal thickness, larger vertical cup/disc ratio measurements and higher pattern standard deviation) predictive of disease progression from ocular hypertension to glaucoma. Although the OHT study results have provided a better understanding of the risk factors involved in the progression from ocular hypertension to glaucoma, physicians still face the challenge of combining these factors to assess individual patients.

Drs. Weinreb and Medeiros have taken these key factors and examined them in an independent population of 126 untreated patients studied at the Hamilton Glaucoma Center. The Scoring Tool for Assessing Risk (STAR) a five-year glaucoma risk assessment tool determines an individual patient's overall risk of developing glaucoma. Physicians assess the six key risk factors and position their findings at various points on the tool, which can help them determine the risk of conversion from ocular hypertension to glaucoma within the next five years.

"A collective assessment of these risk factors helps physicians identify those patients with elevated eye pressure who are more likely to progress to glaucoma and may benefit from early treatment," said Medeiros.

By identifying patients with a higher chance of developing damage, the risk calculator can help physicians make decisions leading to more rational treatment of patients at highest risk, as well as discontinuing treatment and monitoring of patients at lowest risk. This could result in greater consistency in treatment, improving quality of care for patients with ocular hypertension and a decrease in patients who go on to develop glaucoma.


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Contact: Eileen Callahan
ecallahan@ucsd.edu
619-543-6163
University of California - San Diego
17-Oct-2005


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