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More oxygen in eyes of African-Americans may help explain glaucoma risk
Date:7/11/2011

Measuring oxygen during eye surgery, investigators at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have discovered a reason that may explain why African-Americans have a higher risk of glaucoma than Caucasians.

They found that oxygen levels are significantly higher in the eyes of African-Americans with glaucoma than in Caucasians with the disease. The researchers report their findings in the July issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology. They suspect that more oxygen may damage the drainage system in the eye, resulting in elevated pressure. Higher pressure can damage the optic nerve, causing blindness.

The study provides the first physiologic clue about the link between race and risk for glaucoma. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness among African-Americans. Compared to Caucasians, glaucoma is about six times more common in African-Ame
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Contact: Jim Dryden
jdryden@wustl.edu
314-286-0110
Washington University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

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