JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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The British Infantile and Childhood Glaucoma (BIG) Eye Study.

PURPOSE: Pediatric glaucoma is a rare, potentially blinding condition, yet, in the United Kingdom, there is a paucity of contemporary epidemiologic and clinical data regarding this condition. The British Infantile and Childhood Glaucoma (BIG) Eye Study is the first national population-based study conducted to examine the incidence, detection patterns, current management, and intraocular pressure (IOP) control at 1 year in children with newly diagnosed glaucoma in the United Kingdom.

METHODS: A prospective study was conducted wherein children in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland aged <or=16 years with newly diagnosed primary or secondary glaucoma, were identified by consultant ophthalmologists through active surveillance from December 2001 until November 2002. Eligible cases were re-evaluated 12 months after notification.

RESULTS: Of the 99 eligible children with newly diagnosed glaucoma, 47 had primary and 52 secondary glaucoma. The annual incidence of diagnosis of primary congenital glaucoma (PCG) in Great Britain was 5.41 in 100,000 (1/18,500) live births and in the Republic of Ireland, 3.31 in 100,000 (1/30,200). The incidence of PCG in children of Pakistani origin was almost nine times that of Caucasians. IOP control of <or=21 mm Hg was achieved in 94% with medications (60% without medications) in cases of PCG and in 86% with medications (28% without medications) in cases of secondary glaucoma.

CONCLUSIONS: The British annual incidence of PCG diagnosis is comparable to that reported for other similar populations. Ethnic minorities from South Asia are at significantly increased risk of PCG. Successful IOP control in PCG after surgery in Britain is comparable to that in the published literature.

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