The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence and characteristics of glaucoma in the population of the rural Korean town, Sangju. Residents of Sangju aged greater than 50 years old were included in this study. Participants completed an interview examining their medical and ophthalmic history Information was collected on the participants' uncorrected and best corrected vision scores, slit lamp examination results, angle width measurements using the Van Herick technique, gonioscopy if the angle width was less than 1 / 4 angle, intraocular pressure (IOP) assessed with the Goldmann applanation tonometry, optic disc examination results, and a visual field test results using frequency-doubling perimetry in cases in which glaucoma was suspected. Glaucoma was diagnosed according to the criteria described by the International Society for Geographic and Epidemiological Ophthalmology. 1,118 residents aged greater than 50 years were examined initially from a population of 2,984 people. Of these, 671 subjects (60%) participated in this study. The prevalence of glaucoma was determined to be 3.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.1-4.8). Open-angle glaucoma with low IOP was determined to be the most common form with a prevalence rate as high as 2.5% (95% CI, 1.8-3.7). Additionally, primary angle closure glaucoma was determined to have a prevalence rate of 0.3% (95% CI, 0.1-0.9). Open-angle glaucoma with low IOP accounted for 94.4% of the open-angle glaucoma cases. The prevalence of glaucoma among the population of rural Sangju was 3.4%, and open-angle glaucoma with low IOP was the most common form accounting for 94.4% of the total number of cases.
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