Blair Lowry was a Gordon Sanderson Scholarship recipient in 2019, where he conducted research investigating the epidemiology of acute angle-closure glaucoma presentations over 2018 and 2019 at Greenlane Clinical Centre. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness in New Zealand, which can be treated with effective treatment such as intraocular pressure-lowering medications or surgical treatment to correct the rise in intraocular pressure.
Acute angle closure glaucoma is an uncommon presentation, but it is a medical emergency that requires rapid identification and management to prevent blindness when it occurs. My research focused on identifying important demographic parameters that might identify which groups are more susceptible to developing an acute angle closure crisis, and ideally, those at-risk populations. Through our sample recruitment, we included sixty-five cases of AACG from Greenlane Clinical Centre over the two years. We looked at the demographic parameters between these cases: age, sex, ethnicity, family history of glaucoma, and we will be looking at follow-up data of these individuals.
In our sample population, AACG mostly affected those greater than 40 years of age, with the mean age of AACG episodes being 63 years of age. Women had higher representation in this population than men (60% vs 40% respectively) – which is consistent with the literature. Caucasian individuals made up a significant proportion (47%) of cases, with Asian individuals being the 2nd most predominant ethnicity affected by AACG – due to anatomical predisposition to narrower angles – with 30% of the cases. Pasifika was represented quite significantly in this data, with 14% of Pacific people being affected by AACG, whilst Pasifika people represent 8.1% of the NZ population based on the 2018 census. 9% of the AACG cases were Māori individuals, which is lower than the reported 16.5% of Māori within the NZ population. A link between family history of glaucoma and AACG could not be established within this population as data is limited by the underreporting of family history of the cases. However, the literature identifies that there is a link between positive family history of glaucoma and AACG.
Blair would like to thank his supervisors Dr Hussain Patel and Prof Helen Danesh-Meyer for their support and direction with this project, as well as the Gordon Sanderson Scholarship committee and Glaucoma NZ for helping contribute to more ophthalmological research and a greater under-standing of acute angle closure glaucoma in New Zealand. “It’s been an honour working with them all and getting a taste of what ophthalmology entails” .
Gordon Sanderson Scholar 2019
Blair Lowry was a Gordon Sanderson Scholarship recipient in 2019, where he conducted research investigating the epidemiology of acute angle-closure glaucoma at Greenlane Clinical Centre. His research focused on identifying important demographic parameters that might identify which groups are more susceptible to developing an acute angle closure crisis, and ideally, those at-risk populations.Find out more about Gordon Sanderson Scholarships