Relationship Between the Prevalence of Glaucoma (Estimated Through Prescribed Antiglaucomatous Medication) And Access to Ophthalmologists in Norway

The Open Ophthalmology Journal 01 Feb 2023 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/18743641-v16-e221226-2022-20



The relationship between supply and demand in health care is a challenge. The present study aims to evaluate to what extent glaucoma prevalence is influenced by local access to eye health care services in Norway.


Population-based cross-sectional study. Data from The Norwegian Prescription Database was used to find the number of users of topical glaucoma medication, grouped by age and county, giving an estimate of glaucoma prevalence. The number of registered ophthalmologists and opticians was obtained from The Norwegian Society of Ophthalmologists and The Norwegian Directorate of Health.


In total, 75733 persons were treated with IOP-lowering drugs in Norway in 2018, suggesting an overall glaucoma prevalence of 1.43%. In the age group 70-89 years, the nationwide prevalence was 7.60%, the lowest prevalence being in Oppland (5.98%) and highest in Aust-Agder (9.28%) counties. The number of ophthalmologists per 100000 inhabitants varied from 2.63 to 14.65 in the various counties. A statistically significant correlation was found between glaucoma prevalence in the age group 70-89 years and access to ophthalmological services. Furthermore, the increase in glaucoma prevalence plateaus at roughly 10 ophthalmologists per 100000 inhabitants, indicating that this could cover population demands. This relationship did not apply to opticians.


There is a clear correlation between glaucoma prevalence and the availability of ophthalmologists in various counties in Norway. Our study indicates a direct relationship between the number of ophthalmologists in the area and the number of people being treated for glaucoma, with prevalence plateauing once a threshold of approximately 10 ophthalmologists per 100000 inhabitants is reached. This finding suggests that low glaucoma prevalence in some regions could be due to limited access to ophthalmological services.

Keywords: Glaucoma, Ophthalmologist, Prescription, Prevalence, Medication, Eyes heath care.
Fulltext HTML PDF ePub