A New Study Finds Blacks Have More Advanced Visual Field Loss At First Diagnosis of Glaucoma
Using a technique called archetype analysis to evaluate patterns of visual field loss, Louis R. Pasquale, MD, at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai (NYEE), in conjunction with collaborators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts Eye and Ear, uncovered critical new information regarding primary openangle glaucoma (POAG) among U.S. health professionals. Applying archetype analysis, a form of artificial intelligence (AI), to new-onset visual field loss associated with POAG revealed 14 visual field loss patterns ranging from mild peripheral loss to advanced damage across the entire field of vision. The results, published in the July 2022 issue of Translational Vision Science and Technology, showed that Blacks were at a significantly higher risk of POAG with early advanced functional damage compared to non-Hispanic whites.
“With this work, we essentially decompose the visual fields from newly diagnosed primary open-angle glaucoma to help disentangle disease pathogenesis,” says Dr. Pasquale, Deputy Chair for Research and Director, Mount Sinai/NYEE Eye and Vision Research Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Our data showed that being of African heritage is the No. 1 risk factor for presenting with more advanced forms of vision loss, providing insight into why African ancestry is a risk factor for glaucoma blindness.”