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A. Berra, L. Hansen, M. Berra, G. Kuba, P. Novaes, I. Berra, L. Dawidowski, P. H. Saldiva; Correlation Between Air Pollution and Tear Break-Up Time: Individual Measures of Air Pollution, Ophthalmological Examination and Clinical Tests. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):2604.
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To estimate the effects of different levels of air pollution on the ocular surface by comparing individual measures of pollution exposure to ophthalmologic examination and clinical tests.
A panel study was carried out involving 47 volunteers in Argentina. G1: Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires (MABA) (n=12), G2: Ushuaia and Rio Grande cities (n=24) in South Patagonia and, G3: subjects that live in Los Glaciares National Park (n=11) in glaciers area of Patagonia. Each subject received an individual pollution passive monitoring device with filters for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and kept the monitor for 7 days. The mean daily pollution concentration was estimated by dividing the accumulated dose by 7. The methodology was contrasted with an HORIBA APNA-370 continuous ambient monitor. Subsequently, subjects underwent Schirmer I test, biomicroscopy, vital staining with fluorescein and rose Bengal, and tear break-up time (TBUT) measures. Statistical analysis was performed using one-way ANOVA and the Kruskal-Wallis test.
Individual level of NO2 exposition were 38.4±17.2 µg/m3, 21.6±13.5 µg/m3, 4.9±3.8 µg/m3 for G1, G2 and G3, respectively with a statistically significant difference among groups (p<0.001). TBUT levels were 7.0±1.9 sec, 10.7±4.0 sec, 15.9±4.2 sec for G1, G2 and G3, respectively with a statistically significant difference among groups (p=0.001). A clear dose-response pattern was detected between NO2 levels and TBUT, with a statistically significant regression value (p<0.001) and an estimated B-value of -0.490. There were no significant correlations between NO2 levels and Schirmer I values (means 28.3±12.3 mm, 24.8±11.7 and 25.7±12.4 in G1, G2 and G3, respectively), Rose Bengal and Fluorescein scores.
This study suggests a clear negative correlation between air pollution and TBUT
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