The Dry Eye Zone

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Abstract: Prevalence of dry eye disease among US men

Prevalence of Dry Eye Disease Among US Men
Estimates From the Physicians' Health Studies

Debra A. Schaumberg, ScD, OD, MPH; Reza Dana, MD, MPH; Julie E. Buring, ScD; David A. Sullivan, PhD
Arch Ophthalmol. 2009;127(6):763-768.

Objective To estimate the prevalence and risk factors for dry eye disease (DED) among US men.

Methods Cross-sectional prevalence survey among male participants 50 years and older in the Physicians' Health Studies I (N = 18 596) and II (N = 6848). We defined DED as the presence of clinically diagnosed dry eye or severe symptoms (both dryness and irritation constantly or often). We calculated the age-standardized prevalence of DED adjusted to the age distribution of US men in 2004 and projected estimates forward to 2030. We compared DED prevalence with a similar cohort of women and examined associations with possible risk factors.

Results The prevalence of DED increased with age, from 3.90% among men aged 50 to 54 years to 7.67% among men 80 years and older (P for trend <.001). High blood pressure (odds ratio, 1.28; 95% confidence interval, 1.12-1.45) and benign prostatic hyperplasia (odds ratio, 1.26; 95% confidence interval, 1.09-1.44) were associated with a higher risk of DED. Use of antidepressants, antihypertensives, and medications to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia were also associated with increased risk of DED. The age-standardized prevalence of DED was 4.34%, or 1.68 million men 50 years and older, and is expected to affect more than 2.79 million US men by 2030.

Conclusions Dry eye disease is prevalent and increases with age, hypertension, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and antidepressant use.