Background: The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between sociodemographic factors and utilization of eye care services in patients presenting in acute angle-closure (AAC).
Design: A hospital-based retrospective, case-control study.
Participants: Fifty-five patients consecutively presenting to the emergency department of the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital with AAC (cases), and 43 patients consecutively referred to the outpatient department for prophylactic laser peripheral iridotomy (controls) over a 3-year period.
Methods: Standardized telephone questionnaires.
Main Outcome Measures: Comparisons were made for sociodemographic factors, utilization of eye care services and provision of information on glaucoma and premonitory symptoms of AAC.
Results: No significant differences across a range of socioeconomic and demographic factors were found. Fewer cases reported having attended an eye care professional ever (P = 0.02), or in the 12 months preceding their acute hospital attendance (P = 0.002), and had less awareness of angle closure glaucoma (P = 0.001). Logistic regression modelling demonstrated premonitory symptoms of AAC (odds ratio 3.96, [95% confidence interval 1.52–10.32], P < 0.001) and a period of greater than 12 months since the last eye examination (odds ratio 3.89, [95% confidence interval 1.64–9.21]) were significantly associated with the risk of AAC.
Conclusions: No significant differences in socioeconomic or demographic parameters between cases and controls were identified. Control subjects had a history of more frequent and recent access to eye care services than cases. The finding that more than one-third of patients presenting with AAC had consulted an eye care provider in the preceding year suggests that a significant proportion of individuals at risk of AAC remain undetected.