APH 2002, 60, 101-114:

Risk factors for open angle glaucoma: a study in two rural areas of the democratic Republic of Congo.

D. Kaimbo wa Kaimbo, F. Buntinx and L. Missotten

Keywords: open angle glaucoma, ethnicity, Mongo people, Kongo people, democratic Republic of Congo

Aim: To confirm or refute the increased occurrence of open-angle glaucoma (OAG) in Mongo people compared with Kongo as previously discribed in Kinshasa inhabitants.

Material and Methods: Three centres in rural areas in the Equateur region and three in the Bas-Congo region (mainly the home-land of the Mongo and the Kongo people respectively) were chosen and a total of 820 self-referred subjects (almost 1% in both populations) were recruited and examined.  Ocular examination included visual acuity testing, inspection of the adnexa, slit-lamp examination, opthalmoscopy and intraocular pressure measurements.  The criterion for the diagnosis of OAG was a combination of an elevated intraocular pressure (>21mmHg), a vertical cup/disc ratio larger than 0.5 and the presence of an open anterior chamber angle.

Results: Age adjusted glaucoma frequency was higher in Mongo patients, compared with Kongo patients (relative prevalence, 2.24;95% confidence interval, 1.1-4.6)  living in their own region of origin.

Conclusion: the previously described ratio of OAG among Mongo was confirmed in people living in their region of origin.  Together, these results are supportive for the hypothesis of a true biological difference between Mongo and Kongo people.