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October 24, 1959


Author Affiliations

Memphis, Tenn.

From the Division of Preventive Medicine and the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Tennessee College of Medicine.

JAMA. 1959;171(8):1090-1093. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010260046009

Early recognition of impending or subclinical glaucoma offers hope of minimizing its role as a leading cause of blindness. In a glaucoma detection program, tonometer tests were applied to 13,155 persons who were undergoing examinations for complaints not immediately relating to the eyes. Glaucoma was found in 271 persons. The highest prevalence of glaucoma was in a hospital for the aged, where 36 cases (6.4 %) of glaucoma were found among 562 inmates. Among 104 persons examined in an outpatient clinic and found to have glaucoma, 66 (64 % ) also had arteriosclerosis, and among 47 persons found to have glaucoma during examinations for employment health cards, 13 (28%) had arteriosclerosis. In general a high prevalence of arteriosclerosis, hypertension, arthritis, and syphilis was demonstrated among 151 persons found to have subclinical glaucoma. The inclusion of tonometry as part of the physical examination in patients over the age of 40 years or patients with chronic disease is recommended as a step toward the prevention of glaucoma.