June 2015
Volume 56, Issue 7
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2015
The Prevalence of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction in a Caucasian Clinical Population
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • David K Murakami
    TearScience, Boston, MA
  • Caroline A Blackie
    TearScience, Boston, MA
  • Donald R Korb
    TearScience, Boston, MA
    Korb & Associates, Boston, MA
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships David Murakami, TearScience (E), TearScience (F); Caroline Blackie, TearScience (E), TearScience (F); Donald Korb, TearScience (C), TearScience (C), TearScience (I), TearScience (I), TearScience (P), TearScience (P)
  • Footnotes
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Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2015, Vol.56, 2508. doi:
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      David K Murakami, Caroline A Blackie, Donald R Korb; The Prevalence of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction in a Caucasian Clinical Population. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(7 ):2508.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) amongst Caucasian patients using a standardized metric for MG function and to see whether various genetic factors (skin type, eye and hair color) increase the likelihood of MGD in this population.

Methods: <br /> A retrospective observational analysis was performed on de-identified data from consecutive, fully consented, Caucasian patients (n=168) at a single clinical center in Boston, MA between June and October 2014. Inclusion criteria: willingness to participate in the study, over the age of 18, no lid abnormalities, no current ocular inflammation/disease, no ocular surgery within the last 6 months. Patient’s skin type was graded with the Fitzpatrick Scale (Types I to VI). Eye color and original hair color data was also collected. Any symptoms of dry eye were scored using the SPEED Questionnaire. The number of functional glands in the lower eyelids was assessed with the Korb Meibomian Gland Evaluator. Meibomian gland dysfunction was defined as having 6 or fewer functional meibomian glands on the lower eyelid (approximately 25% of the total number of meibomian glands present).

Results: Only data for right eyes are presented. The mean age and symptom score of the patients was 53.1±16.0 years (49 males; 119 females) and 8.4±5.8 respectively. All patients fell within Types I to IV on the Fitzpatrick Scale, with the majority being Type II or III, 34% and 48% respectively. The majority of these patients had either blue or brown eyes, 38.0% or 35.7% respectively, with 68.5% having brown hair. The prevalence of MGD (25% or fewer functional MGs) was 70.2%. Using a more conservative cut off of 4 or fewer functional meibomian glands (17%), the prevalence of MGD was 43%. The variables of skin type, eye color and hair color had no statistically significant impact of the likelihood of MGD in this population (p>0.5 for all analyses).

Conclusions: The prevalence of MGD in this population is 70.2%. This is significantly higher than previous reports of the prevalence of MGD in Caucasian populations. This is the first report of MGD prevalence in a Caucasian population using data gathered with a standardized metric for MG function.


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