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Disease Leads To Vision Loss More Often In Blacks, Study Shows

Date:
March 10, 2008
Source:
American Academy of Neurology
Summary:
Black people are more likely to lose vision as a result of idiopathic intracranial hypertension, or increased pressure in the brain, according to a new study. The cause of idiopathic intracranial hypertension is not known. Symptoms include headache, ringing in the ears, and vision problems such as blurriness and double vision. It is most common in young, obese women.

Black people are more likely to lose vision as a result of idiopathic intracranial hypertension, or increased pressure in the brain, according to a study published in the March 11, 2008, issue of Neurology.

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"The racial difference does not appear to be based on differences in diagnosis, treatment or access to care," said study author Beau Bruce, MD, of Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA. "The disease affects black people more aggressively. Doctors may need to monitor their black patients more closely and take steps to prevent vision loss earlier than with other patients."

The cause of idiopathic intracranial hypertension is not known. Symptoms include headache, ringing in the ears, and vision problems such as blurriness and double vision. It is most common in young, obese women.

For the study, researchers reviewed the medical records of all patients at Emory University with intracranial hypertension over a 17-year period. Of the 450 people, 197 were black. There were 246 whites, five Hispanic people and two Asian people in the study.

The black patients were 3.5 times more likely to have severe vision loss in at least one eye, and they were nearly five times as likely to become legally blind than the non-black patients.

Bruce noted that the blacks in the study had other risk factors, such as higher body mass index and higher frequency of low blood iron, and higher pressures around the brain than non-black participants, and that these factors could partially account for the increased risk of vision loss.

The study was supported in part by grants from Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc., and the National Institutes of Health.


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The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Neurology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Neurology. "Disease Leads To Vision Loss More Often In Blacks, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080310164922.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology. (2008, March 10). Disease Leads To Vision Loss More Often In Blacks, Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 5, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080310164922.htm
American Academy of Neurology. "Disease Leads To Vision Loss More Often In Blacks, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080310164922.htm (accessed March 5, 2015).

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