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A. Klimava, E. K. Akpek, J. Thorne, K. Lekhanont, A. Ostrovsky; Evaluation of Dry Eye Patients for Systemic Disease Association. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):5660.
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To evaluate the patient characteristics and associated medical conditions in a cohort of patients with dry eye syndrome.
Medical records of patients with a primary diagnosis of tear film insufficiency (ICD code 375.15) or keratoconjunctivitis sicca (ICD code 370.33) were reviewed retrospectively for the presence of an associated medical condition. Two hundred and twenty consecutive patients who had 2 or more visits to the Ocular Surface Diseases and Dry Eye Clinic, during a period of 2 years (1/2003 to 1/2006) were considered. The data gathered were analyzed using a customized database software.
The majority of the patients (75.91%) were females with a mean age of 58 years (22 to 91). A total of 57 patients had an associated rheumatic disease; most common being primary Sjogren’s Syndrome (24 patients) and rheumatoid arthritis (25 patients). Of all the patients with primary Sjogren’s Syndrome, 33.3% carried a diagnosis at the time of presentation, 50% were diagnosed as a result of initial evaluation and 16.7% went on to develop it during the follow-up. An overwhelming majority of the patients with rheumatoid arthritis (96%) carried a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis at the time of presentation. Among patients with no evident rheumatic disease initially, the rate of occurrence of Sjogren’s Syndrome during the follow-up was 4% per person-year.
Associated medical conditions are common in patients with dry eye syndrome. Sjogren’s Syndrome is widely underdiagnosed and should be the focus of diagnostic evaluation.
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