Objective To determine whether racial disparities exist in the use of ancillary testing to evaluate individuals with open-angle glaucoma.
Methods We identified all enrollees aged 40 years and older in a large US managed care network with retinal or optic nerve conditions that could warrant the use of ancillary testing. Among persons with open-angle glaucoma or glaucoma suspects, we performed repeated-measures multivariable logistic regression to determine the odds and probabilities each year of undergoing visual field testing, fundus photography, and other ocular imaging for black, white, Hispanic, and Asian American men and women and compared the groups.
Results Among the 797 879 eligible enrollees, 149 018 individuals had open-angle glaucoma. The odds of undergoing visual field testing decreased for all groups from 2001 through 2009, decreasing most for Hispanic men and women (63% and 57%, respectively) (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 0.37; 95% CI, 0.31-0.43 and AOR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.37-0.50, respectively) and least (36%) for Asian American men (AOR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.51-0.80). By comparison, the odds of undergoing other ocular imaging increased for all groups from 2001 through 2009, increasing most (173%) for black men and women (AOR, 2.73; 95% CI, 2.34-3.18 for men and AOR, 2.73; 95% CI, 2.40-3.09 for women) and least (77%) for Hispanic women (AOR, 1.77; 95% CI, 1.49-2.09).
Conclusion Hispanic men and women had considerably reduced odds of undergoing visual field testing and other ocular imaging compared with other groups during the decade. Although increases in glaucoma testing have been noted in recent years among Hispanic men and women for some types of ancillary tests, efforts should be made to better understand and overcome some of the persistent barriers to monitoring for glaucoma in this group.