Glaucoma Detection and Treatment: African Americans with Glaucoma Study


continues its series of educational briefings
on breakthrough developments in eye and vision research

Please join us for a

Luncheon Briefing on Vision Health Disparities Research

“Glaucoma Detection and Treatment:
African Americans with Glaucoma Study”

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

12:00 Noon – 1:15 pm

Senate Dirksen 226

Please R.S.V.P. to
Dina Beaumont @ 202-530-4672 or [email protected]

Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR)
Congressional Briefing Luncheon on Vision Health Disparities Research
“Glaucoma Detection and Treatment: African Americans with Glaucoma
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
12 Noon – 1:15 pm, Senate Dirksen 226
RSVP to: 202-530-4672 or [email protected]

Why is research into vision health disparities important?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) cites health disparities
research as one of its top priorities. Last year, a study by the
National Eye Institute (NEI) reported on the increasing incidence
of chronic eye diseases in Americans age 40 and older, including
Age-related Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma, Cataract and Diabetic
Retinopathy. Glaucoma, which currently affects 2.2 million Americans
and is expected to increase by another 3.3 million by year 2020,
is recognized as THE leading clause of irreversible blindness in
African Americans, occurring at a rate almost three times as that
in White Americans. Eye disease and vision impairment costs the
US $68 billion annually, reflecting direct economic costs associated
with health care and lost productivity, as well as societal costs
due to lost independence and diminished quality of life.

What are the latest findings?

Vision loss from Glaucoma occurs when the optic nerve is damaged,
in most cases associated with elevated pressure within the eye.
The NEI-sponsored African Americans with Glaucoma Study builds
on previous research on racial differences in the optic nerve and
cornea by developing detection techniques that are more sensitive
to these physiological differences and potential changes over time.
Earlier detection results in earlier diagnosis and treatment, often
with pressure-reducing eye drops that can delay or prevent the onset
of the disease, as shown in NEI’s Ocular Hypertension Treatment

Who will speak?

  • Christopher Girkin, MD, MSPH, Associate Professor of
    Ophthalmology and Director, Glaucoma Service, Department of Ophthalmology,
    the University of Alabama at Birmingham, will describe UAB’s role
    in the African Americans with Glaucoma Study

  • Cassandra Page, Administrative Coordinator in the Department
    of Ophthalmology at UAB, will describe outreach to and impact
    upon the Birmingham community

  • Stephen Ryan, MD, President of the Doheny Eye Institute
    at the University of Southern California and AEVR President, will
    host and provide an introduction.

About AEVR…

The Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR) is a nonprofit
organization dedicated to educating Congress and the public about
the importance of federal funding for eye and vision research. AEVR
unites the community of support for eye and vision research, including
ophthalmic and optometric professionals, consumers and industry,
to speak with a unified voice about the economic and societal value
of research. Visit